Foreign tourists should look to Kerala for its scenic beaches and pretty coastlines

Foreign tourists should look to Kerala for its scenic beaches and pretty coastlines

Although the financial crisis in Sri Lanka is a matter of concern for India, with economic refugees seeking ways to reach India, especially Tamil Nadu, the crisis appears to be a blessing in disguise for God’s country, because Colombo has given Kerala tourism heartburn. for a decade. As the pretty coastlines, scenic beaches, tropical climate similar to Kerala have drawn international tourists to Colombo in hordes, Kerala has steadily lost its international leisure travelers to Colombo over the years.

For example, the arrival of international tourists in Sri Lanka was only 6.54 lakh in 2010, just a year after the end of the civil war in the island nation. But since 2010, it has been steadily growing and it reached an all-time high of 23.33 lakh in 2018. However, 2019 saw only 19.13 lakh foreign travelers after the bombing of the day Easter in Colombo. On the other hand, Kerala Tourism which received 6.59 lakh foreign guests in 2010 recorded only 11.89 lakh in 2019. As the growth of foreign tourists in Lanka has been astronomical during this period , Kerala Tourism which recorded a record growth rate of 18.31 in 2010 from the previous year had never reached the figure since then.

Talk to The Hindu, Jaison Panikulangara, Director of SAJ House Boat Builders and Operators, which has invested in the houseboat tourism industry in Colombo, said, “I have invested around ₹1.5 crore in the hotel sector in Sri Lanka and now I am looking for ways to sell my properties as there has been no significant income in the area for three years. A five-star hotel room can be booked now for $50-60, down from $150-200 in 2019. After the Easter Day bombing, the arrival of foreigners began to dwindle and now the island is in the throes of economic crisis and civil war after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr. Panikulangara said.

According to Kerala tourism officials, the emergence of Colombo as a popular economic destination after the ethnic war has been one of the main reasons behind Kerala’s slow growth in the overseas segment. Once again, when the crisis in Colombo gets worse, the chances are high for these tourists to look for other options and South India, especially Kerala, Maldives, Thailand and Malaysia, would be the beneficiaries of such a scenario.

“Obviously Kerala will get a share of foreigners if the situation gets worse in Lanka. But Kerala will have to do its homework to get its fair share. Even after the announcement of the two-day strike across India, the state government has yet to exempt the tourism sector from the shutdown. This attitude needs to change and we need to seize the opportunity to stay afloat,” said EM Najeeb, Senior Vice President of the Indian Association of Tour Operators.