//Kerala plans Rs 1000 cr investments in tourism sector

Kerala plans Rs 1000 cr investments in tourism sector

Kochi, June 13. (PTI): The Left Front Government in Kerala on Monday said it will invest Rs 1000 crore and is looking at generating an income of Rs 10,000 crore from the Tourism sector this year.

The State Government also planned on generating 50,000 employment opportunities from the sector, State Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said here.

Efforts would also be made to explore new markets, including South Asian countries and the US, to woo more international tourists to the state, the minister told reporters here.

In 2005, the foreign and domestic tourist arrivals to Kerala was 3.46 lakh and 59.46 lakh respectively. There was over 20 per cent increase in the arrival of international tourists from November 2005 to March this year.

During the current year, the tourism department was targeting a growth of 20 per cent for international tourists and five per cent for domestic tourists.

The additional room capacity required would be met by encouraging homestays and private investments at different levels (small, medium and large), he said.

A new scheme would be introduced to encourage 'Kerala Model' of development of tourism infrastructure taking into account the State's unique cultural and natural heritage and helping investors, including those in the small and medium level, Balakrishnan told reporters here.

'Farm Tourism' would be developed as a new tourism product, linking tourism with the traditional agricultural and industries sectors.