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PTI Thiruvai
Updated: 14-01-2019 19:41 IST

18 per cent dip in tourists to Kerala, says Union Minister

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 14 (PTI): Kerala has been at

the receiving end after the floods and lost around 18 per cent

of the tourists the state used to receive earlier, Minister of

State (independent charge) for Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam

said Monday.

He told reporters here that as a Minister and a

Keralite, he was not happy with ranking of the state in the

tourism sector of the country.

Kannathanam said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would

on January 15 inaugurate a tourism project related to the

Padmanabhaswami temple here, under the spiritual circuit theme

of the swadesh darshan project.

The project of the Centre was to develop the basic

facilities in and around the religious institutions across the


Swadesh darshan links at least three major tourists

destinations of the country.

There are 77 such projects and over Rs 6,300 crore

has been sanctioned, he said.

Kannathanam also said 60 per cent of Indian tourists

were attracted towards spiritual tourism.

"That's why we are developing the regions around the

religious institutions. Under this scheme we have sanctioned

75.88 crore for Padmanabhaswami temple and over 95 per cent

work has been completed," the minister said.

He also said the state was set to receive tourists

and the industry was ready after the August deluge.

"I heard that according to preliminary reports,

Kerala has been receiving 18 per cent less tourists after the

floods. This is even as we are ready to receive them after the

floods. People outside still think that we are yet to get

ready," he said.

The minister also said his ministry was concentrating

on attracting tourists from large markets across the globe.

"We are concentrating on capturing the large markets

across the globe - like China. Last year, 144 million people

from China went out of that country. We got only two lakh of

that crowd. We need to re-route at least 10 per cent of

Chinese tourists to our country in the next few years," he


Kannathanam rubbished the earlier claim of state

ministers that only Rs 18 crore was sacntioned by the Centre

for the development of Sabarimala and said the rest would be

given only after receiving the utilisation report of the first


"The first installment of around Rs 18 crore was

given and the next installment would be alloted when the

government submits the utilisation report and receipt for the

first installment," he said.



(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)