Author: S. Anil Radhakrishnan
The negative growth and the foreign exchange earnings and revenue from the tourism sector plummeting to single digit during 2015 have created panic in the industry. The statistics released by Kerala Tourism confirmed the apprehensions raised by the stakeholders. Foreign tourist arrivals to Kerala has gone up from 9,23,366 in 2014 to 9,77,479 in 2015. The tourist arrivals show an increase of 5.86 per cent compared to the previous year. The increase in foreign tourist arrivals was 7.60 per cent in 2014. Domestic tourist arrivals went up to 124,65,571 in 2015 from 116,95,411 in 2014. An increase of 6.59 per cent in domestic tourist arrivals has been registered in 2015 over the previous year. The growth in the sector was 7.71 per cent in 2014 and it shows the downward trend. Kerala Tourism was aiming for a growth of 10 to 15 per cent in the sector during 2015. The figures have revealed that the marketing initiatives have not achieved the desired result. The foreign exchange earnings and the total revenue slipping to single digit figures for the first time since 2010 has upset the industry. Foreign exchange earnings for the January-December period last year was Rs. 6,949.88 crore. Though the forex earnings in the sector recorded an increase of 8.61 per cent, it has slipped to single digit from 15.07 in 2014. The total revenue (including direct and indirect) from the sector has gone up to Rs. 26,689.63 crore from Rs. 24,885.44 crore – an increase of 7.25 per cent registered in 2015 over the last year. As in the case of forex earnings, it has slipped to single digit from 12.11 in 2014.