Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 26: Kerala is looking at an 8 per cent growth in the number of tourist arrivals this year as it undertakes multiple initiatives to promote the state as a preferred tourist destination.
"We are looking at an 8 per cent growth in the number of tourist arrivals in 2016 as we take several initiatives to boost tourism in the state," Kerala Tourism Director U V Jose told PTI. In 2015, the foreign tourist arrivals in the state stood at 9,77,479 an increase of 5.86 per cent over 2014, while domestic tourist arrivals for the year was over 1.24 crore, an increase of 6.59 per cent over 2014 figures, he added.
"To increase the number of foreign tourists, apart from the continuing focus on our core markets such as UK, France, Germany and US, we are also aiming for increased arrivals from the new emerging source markets as Saudi Arabia, UAE and Russia," Jose said.
Other countries that are being targeted are Australia, Japan and China, he added. The government has rolled out several initiatives such as Project Muziris constituting a series of 27 museums spread across the heritage region showcasing maritime trade, lifestyle, barter system and handicrafts and the spice route revival project, Jose said.
Another important initiative is Kochi-Muziris Biennale, which is an international exhibition of contemporary art held in Kochi, he added.
The state also plans to launch a new brand campaigns targeting high-potential markets such as Europe, Asia, Middle East, north and north east India, Kerala Tourism said. Kerala will also be participating in international trade fairs and will also conduct road shows in various countries, Jose said.