Thiruvananthapuram: Overcoming difficult times following the worst ever floods, tourist arrivals in Kerala shot up by an impressive 6.82 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 as compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.
According to the Tourism Department, a total 46,12,937 tourists (domestic and foreigners) visited the state between January and March as compared to 43,18,406 in the same period in 2018.
The number of domestic tourists was 41,90,468 against 38,77,712, an increase of 8.07 per cent.
However, the number of foreign tourists suffered a dip of 4.14 per cent -- to 4,22,469 from 4,40,694.
The increase in domestic tourist footfalls, especially in Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Idukki, the worst affected districts on account of the floods in August-September last year, is a pointer that the state's tourism is recovering.
Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said there was fear that Kerala's tourism would take a long time to recover.
"But we were able to allay these apprehensions by swiftly putting in place an effective action plan to win back the confidence of tourists. The increase in domestic tourist arrivals is a strong testimony to it," said Surendran.