labels: tourism, leisure
Kerala is the world''s fastest-growing tourism destination says Renuka Choudhrynews
Our Corporate Bureau
17 August 2004

Kochi: 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.

The 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.

Choudhry 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 tourism.

She 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.

''There 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 place.''


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Kerala is the world''s fastest-growing tourism destination says Renuka Choudhry