The peak tourist season in Kerala is gradually shifting from November-January to December-March, with foreign tourists preferring the first few months of the year.

Hotels, home stays, travel agents and other tourism stakeholders are elated at the extended tourist season. “As per tourist arrival statistics during the past two years, there is a gradual shift in the peak tourist season. Domestic tourists prefer to come during November-December, while foreigners are showing a marked preference for January-March,” said the Director of Kerala Tourism Rani George.

To a question of whether the Kochi Muziris Biennale which concludes on Sunday has become an added attraction for tourists this year, she said that it has given a definite boost to culture tourism. “This is among the reasons why New York Times Traveller recently mentioned Kerala and made a specific reference to Kochi as one among the must-see destinations in the world.”

Medium range hotels and home stays in Fort Kochi are among the biggest gainers because of the increase in tourist arrivals, despite the economic slump in Europe.

“There was good inflow of tourists, especially in December when the biennale began and Fort Kochi was rocking,” said Vicky Raj, owner of Koder House and two other hotels in the locale. The biennale focused people’s attention on Fort Kochi. The visitors included many hi-end tourists and writers, from within India and outside.

The president of Fort Kochi Home Stay Owners Association, Santosh Tom said many tourists extended their stay because of the event. “There was unprecedented inflow of teachers and others from the field of art and literature. The event also benefited auto drivers and vendors running wayside eateries.”

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