The State of Kerala in India is one of the country’s top tourist destination regions. Tourism comprises 66% of the State’s GDP and employs over 1 mn residents. International tourism to Kerala increased over 20% from 2009 to 2010 to almost 660,000 arrivals generating 38 billion rupees (US$778 mn) in foreign exchange. Given the State’s rapid increase in tourism, it is not surprising that a new tourism policy was recently drafted.
The new policy seeks to set the stage for Kerala becoming a world-class destination based on local visitor experiences, especially nature and culture-based experiences. The policy also emphasizes community-led growth so that the economic benefits of tourism development help local communities as much as possible. Lastly, the policy also wisely emphasizes infrastructure development and human resources — critical areas to ensure sustainable tourism development.
For more information, check out the policy.