The number of tourists from Tamil Nadu to neighbouring Kerala was the second highest among domestic travellers in that State last year. According to statistics provided at an event organised by Kerala Tourism in the city on Thursday, the maximum number of visitors to Kerala came from Maharashtra, followed by Tamil Nadu.

The total number of domestic tourists to the State, promoted by its tourism board as ‘God’s Own Country,’ saw a seven percent increase last year.

Speaking at the Kerala Tourism Partnership Meet, S. Harikishore, director of Kerala Tourism, said that the State received Rs. 21,000 crore as revenue from tourism in 2012. “We have taken initiatives to boost the tourist inflow by starting campaigns like the ‘Kerala Blog Express’, wherein the idea was to invite bloggers from around the world.”

“After they submit their profiles, we will shortlist a few and the bloggers with maximum number of votes will get to go on a two-week free trip in and around Kerala,” he said.

Another major initiative in the offing is the ‘Spice Route Project’ where an attempt will be made to trace an ancient spice route linking 31 countries with the aim of attracting foreign tourists. “Officials recently presented the concept of the spice route to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and got their support for this project,” Mr. Harikishore said.

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