Kerala Government witnesses decrease in tourists: Minister

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Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 21 (UNI) Kerala Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balkrishnan today said the government had noted a considerable decrease in the arrival of foreign tourists, following the financial crisis in the world.

Talking to newspersons here, the minister said the Government had noted a 20 per cent decrease in the tourist bookings in hotels during November and December after the financial crisis.

As the impact of the global financial crisis affected the arrival of foreign tourists in the State, the government was planning to introduce a new marketing strategy to counter this and to attract more domestic tourists in the State.

Mr Balakrishnan said since 60 per cent of the total tourists were foreigners, the economic crisis would reduce their number as well as revenue to the State. A new strategy had been worked out to bring more domestic tourists to the State, he added.

Mr Balakrishnan said the Tourism Department had asked the hotel and resort owners to declare a new package to attract domestic tourists in the State and the government had also organised road- shows in many states to promote tourism.

Pointing out that the huge airfare and insufficent flight connectivity were the other problems that reduced the number of domestic tourists to the State, the minister said the government was planning to introduce special tourist buses for the purpose, with the cooperation of other States and expressed the hope that the system would overcome the transport crisis.

The state government also urged the Centre to arrange tourist trains, he added.

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