Kerala tourism to create 4 lakh new jobs

Campaigns in India and aboard, commissioning of journalists from leading media outlets is planned to provide international publicity.

Kochi: Kerala is planning to generate 400,000 fresh jobs in the tourism sector over the next five years by focusing on doubling the number of foreign tourists and a 50 per cent increase in domestic tourists.

The approach paper of the 13th five-year plan prepared by the State Planning Board also envisages a new growth strategy in the sector by focusing more on promotion than creation of infrastructure. The paper has also called for observing 2019 as the International Come-to- Kerala Year as part of further consolidating the inherent strength of the state in the tourism sector. On developing a fresh growth strategy in the sector the paper has pointed out the need for focusing more on tourism promotion in comparison with infrastructure development.

“Internationally, public spending on tourism generally focuses on tourism promotion in different forms while infrastructure and “destination development” is mainly the task of local governments. In Kerala, this situation is reversed, with destination development taking up more than 60 per cent of plan allocation and promotion about 25 per cent. The XIII Plan will partially correct this imbalance, raising the shares of tourism promotion to one-third of allocation”, the paper said.

The International Come-to-Kerala Year will be observed as a year-long event with detailed planning and preparation. The event will be coordinated by an apex organising committee for planning the required infrastructure for the conduct of the event. The suggestions in the paper included campaigns in different parts of India and aboard, commissioning of travel journalists from leading international newspapers, magazines, and new-media outlets well in advance to provide international publicity.

The paper has also pointed out simultaneous efforts in health, public health, sanitation, prevention of litter, solid waste management, purification of water bodies to make Come-to- Kerala Year a success. “The organising group must be able to coordinate the efforts of different departments to make the effort an all-round success”.

The paper has pointed out that rate of growth in tourist arrivals in the state has declined in the recent past after the boom period of 1990s and early 2000s.

“There is potential in the traditional locations in Kochi, south of Kochi and in the highlands. There is the steady and unabated growth of pilgrimage arrivals, and there is the vast and relatively unexploited tourist potential of the northern parts of the State”, it has pointed out.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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