S. Anil Radhakrishnan

Earnings cross Rs.10,000 crore

25% increase in revenue over 2006

Foreign exchange earnings up by 32%

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The revenue generated from the tourism sector in the State has crossed Rs.10,000 crore for the first time with direct and indirect revenue touching Rs.11,433 crore in 2007.

The foreign exchange earnings during the period went up to Rs.2,640.94 crore. The total revenue generated shows an increase of 25.28 per cent over 2006, which was Rs.9,126 crore.

Statistics compiled by Kerala Tourism show that the foreign exchange earnings for 2007 recorded a growth of 32.82 per cent, which was Rs.1,988.40 crore in 2006.

A total number of 5,15,808 foreign tourists arrived in the State in 2007, compared to 4,28,534 in 2006. The foreign tourist arrivals registered an increase of 20.37 per cent over the previous year.

Thiruvananthapuram came first in foreign tourist arrivals with 1,93,924, followed by Ernakulam - 1,65,125. The growth was 27.94 and 25.32 per cent respectively in Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam.

Malappuram recorded 37.38-per cent increase on this count, with the arrivals going up from 7,109 to 9,766. However, Palakkad showed a downward trend from 809 to 615. In Kozhikode, it came down from 11,154 to 10,020.

As much as 23.36 per cent of foreign tourists came from the U.K.; 9.33 per cent from France; 7.72 per cent from the U.S.; 6.95 per cent from Germany; and 4.39 per cent from the Maldives.

Sources said it showed that the U.K. was still the top market for Kerala. The arrival of chartered tourists from Gatwick was also reflected in the statistics.

As per the statistics, domestic tourist arrivals in 2007 was 66,42,941 compared to 62,71,724 the previous year, an increase of 5.92 per cent.

Domestic tourist arrivals in Kollam went up from 1,22,998 to 1,45,524 registering a growth of 18.31 per cent. In Ernakulam, it went up from 1,080,591 to 1,09,644.

Alappuzha and Kottayam showed a dip in domestic tourist arrivals last year.