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Kerala tourism bounces back after pandemic

Number is slightly more than that in same period of 2019, international travel is yet to take off but domestic tourism is back

Debraj Mitra | Published 10.12.22, 07:50 AM
A Mayilattam (traditional dance form) performance at the programme on Thursday

A Mayilattam (traditional dance form) performance at the programme on Thursday

God’s own Country is back in the reckoning after the pandemic.

Kerala, one of the top tourist destinations in India, registered over 1.33 crore domestic travellers between January and September this year, an official of the state’s tourism department said at a programme on Thursday.


“The number is slightly more than that in the same period of 2019. International travel is yet to take off but domestic tourism is back with a bang,” said Prem Bhas, information officer with the department of tourism in Kerala.

Bhas and his team are in the city for roadshows and meetings with travel agents to sell Kerala as a winter destination.

On Thursday, the auditorium of a hotel in Rajarhat was packed with travel agents.

Gujarat sends the maximum number of visitors to Kerala while Bengal accounts for 15 to 20 per cent of the visitors, said officials. Kerala has been included in TIME magazine’s “50 Extraordinary Destinations of the World” to explore in 2022.

The state’s uniqueness lies in a variety of experiences awaiting the tourists like houseboats, caravan stays, jungle lodges, plantation visits, homestays, besides adventure activities like camping and trekking.

Kerala is typically known for its backwaters, houseboats, beaches and rubber plantations. But the state is now hard-selling newer attractions. One of them is Keravan Kerala. It entails crisscrossing the state in a bus or van designed as a luxurious caravan.

“It is ideal for a group of five to six people, though it can be customised. The van will have all the modern amenities. Yet, it will provide an extra degree of proximity to nature,” said Bhas.

The ride comes in different packages, operated by the government and private players.

Wayanad, the hilly and forested region in the north of the state, offers the best of “experiential tourism” in the form of tree houses, said Bhas.

“The tree houses are nestled in the lap of Western Ghats. Camping and trekking trails, breathtaking waterfalls, caves and birdwatching sites, there is something for everyone in Wayanad,” said Bhas.

A week’s trip to Kerala would start from around Rs 35,000 for one person, minus airfare, he added.

Kerala has four airports, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Calicut and Kannur. Of these, Kolkata is best connected with the first two.

“Kerala is one of the top domestic destinations for people from Bengal. The Puja season was a bumper one for the state as it was the second-most popular place to go, after Kashmir. But while Kashmir has seen a dip in demand during winter, Kerala has still remained a hot cake,” said Raktim Ray of Dolphin Travels. “Nearly all the slots for winter are already booked in Kerala.”.

Last updated on 10.12.22, 07:50 AM

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