Kerala to spend Rs.2.5 bn for tourism development

August 12th, 2008 - 1:12 am ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode, Aug 11 (IANS) Kerala Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan Monday said that the government would spend Rs.2.5 billion for tourism development this year. He was addressing a meeting after inaugurating the State Institute of Hospitality Management.

The minister said that in the last financial year, tourist arrival in Kerala went up by 20 percent compared to the previous year, while the revenue from the sector increased by 25 percent.

“The revenue from the tourism last year was Rs.11,500 crore (Rs.115 billion) and the sector now provides direct and indirect employment to around 1.2 million people in the state,” Kodiyeri said.

The minister said the government is promoting ‘responsible tourism’ in the state, which aims at bringing the benefit of tourism development to people living near tourism spots, making them stakeholders in tourism projects.

“We have already announced Kovalam and Kumarakom (two famous tourism spots in Kerala) as responsible tourism destinations. Wayanad and Kumali (two other destinations) will be the next,” the minister said.

At Kumarakom, the initiative helped to provide jobs to around 1,000 women, with hotels and resorts locally procuring vegetables and milk.

“Earlier, resorts used to bring vegetables and milk from Tamil Nadu. Now, people in the locality have started benefiting from tourism. We are now planning to develop eco-tourism projects in the similar way that tribal people get benefit from tourism development,” the minister said.

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