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State to organise road shows abroad to promote tourism

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State to organise road shows abroad to promote tourism
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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is planning to organise road shows abroad this year to boost foreign tourist arrivals.

"This year we are planning to have road shows in places like Dubai, Abu Dhabhi and two other locations to promote tourism," Kerala Tourism Director S Harikishore told PTI.

The state government would focus on countries in the gulf region, under its Middle East campaign, he said.

"Middle East is just a four-hour flight from Kerala, which suits tourists. They can witness a complete change in the environment after a small flight," he added.

About 7.94 lakh foreign tourists visited Kerala in 2012 and the state had earned foreign exchange worth Rs 4,548 crore. In 2011, 7.33 lakh tourists had visited Kerala and the state earned forex worth Rs 4,222 crore.

"We are having a growth of seven per cent in foreign tourists," said Harikishore. However, he did not share 2013 figures and said they are still working on them.

Moreover, to boost footfall of domestic tourists, Kerala would organise road show at 22 places in India.

"This year we have also planned roadshows at 22 places in tier 1 and tier 2 locations. This time we are organising in states including Delhi, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam," he added.

In 2012, 1.01 crore domestic tourists had visited Kerala compared to 93.88 lakh in 2011. The state had had earned revenues of Rs 21,125 crore in 2012 from tourism.

Kerala is implementing new initiatives like Seaplane Project and Project Muziris to enhance travel experience.

Under Seaplane Project, last mile connectivity by air is provided from Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut airport to the backwaters of Astamudi, Punnamada, Kumarakom, Bolgatty and Bekal in the state.

It is also working on Spice Route Revival Project. This project is aimed at sharing heritage among the 31 countries along the ancient spice trade route.

PTI

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