23 November 2009
Keralan tourism authorities remain unconcerned by a 22% drop in international visitors this year.
Speaking at the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) conference in Cochin, Kerala, secretary of tourism and cultural affairs for the government of Kerala, Dr Venu Vasudevan, said the destination will receive around 600,000 international visitors, of which 140,000 will be from the UK.
This is because the number of international visitors is dwarfed by the 7.5 million Indians who visited the state in 2008, with half the number of visitors being there for leisure purposes.
Dr Venu said: "The domestic consumer market is expanding by about 10% to 15% a year.
"This is probably the reason why Kerala is not desperate to get the foreign visitors and why we don't feel like the world will come to an end when the visitor numbers drop."
Kerala's tourist authorities will continue to focus their main efforts on increasing domestic visitors by spending 60% of their marketing budget on this market.
The remaining cash will continue to be spent on attracting the international market.