Union minister of state for tourism, Renuka Choudhry,
said that Kerala had become the world's fastest growing
tourism destination, registering an increase of 26.68
per cent in foreign tourist arrivals last year. This
was the highest in the country.
state had brought tourist revenue of Rs5,938 crore from
domestic tourists and Rs983 crore in foreign exchange
during 2003-04, she said in a press conference here.
Kerala had become what was Florida to the United States
in tourism promotion, Choudhry said and added that the
centre was formulating policy guidelines that would
give further impetus to tourism.
also appreciated the state's successful marketing of
its backwater tourism. Noting that Kerala had good potential
to attract cruise tourism, she promised that the Centre
would do its best to effectively exploit this area.
She said efforts would be made to attract large luxury
liners operating in the Mediterranean to stop at Kochi
to promote the state's cultural, spiritual and health
assured all possible support from the UPA government
for the development of the state's tourism sector. Reacting
to the controversy over the developing of Marina in
Marine Drive, state tourism minister P Sankaran denied
any move to hand over Bolghatty Palace to private sector.
According to him, the Rs50-crore project was proposed
to have a tie-up with the Malaysia-based Trans Resource
Corporation. The government would have 26-per cent stake
in the project.
is great pressure on the government to shift the project
to some other districts. If Kochi Corporation says that
it doesn't want the project, we will shift it to another