More people seem to be flocking to ‘God’s own country’. According to figures released here on Tuesday by the Kerala Tourism Board during a Kerala tourism road show, Kerala witnessed 7.94 lakh foreign tourist arrivals in 2012 as compared to 7.33 lakh in 2011. Similarly, compared to 93.88 lakh domestic tourists in 2011, 1.01 crore domestic tourists visited Kerala in 2012.

According to the figures, the foreign exchange earnings of the State had also gone up from Rs. 4221.99 crore in 2011 to Rs. 4,548 crore in 2012. The total revenue, both direct and indirect from tourism, touched Rs. 21,125 crore in 2012 compared to Rs. 19,037 crore in 2011.

New initiatives

A release said that the Kerala government has rolled out two new initiatives: ‘Seaplane Project’ and ‘Project Muziris’. While the first is aimed at improving last-mile connectivity by air to destinations across the State, the latter is directed towards reinstating the historical and cultural significance of the legendary port of Muziris. The other ‘spicy’ initiative in the offing is the ‘Spice Route Revival Project’ to revive and promote the two millennia-old spice route that links the south western coast of India up to Europe.

From a seasonal tourist place, Kerala has been elevated to an all-season destination through the ‘Dream season’ campaign launched during the off-season.

Having emerged the top travel destination in Google search trends, edging out the Taj Mahal, the State has also captured the digital frontier.

Utsavam

A host of festivities are also lined up celebrating its status as one of the most-preferred holiday destinations. ‘Utsavam’ (December 29 to January 10), a cultural extravaganza to be staged in 60 venues across all the 14 districts of Kerala for three weeks, and ‘Nishagandhi Festival’ (January 20 to 26), celebrating dance, are in the pipeline, the release said.

More In: Kerala | National