This is combined with renowned Indian hospitality, music, dance and attractive costuming (KTDC, 2009).
This combination of natural and man made attractions led to the terming of the place as “God’s Own Country” by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation [KTDC]. This was a strong selling point (KTDC, 2009).
However, despite the fact that there was a great increase in the number of visitors to the region; from 5 million in 1999 to 8 million in 2008; there has been a marked decrease in foreign tourist arrivals. This decreased ranged between 19% to 22% in different parts of Kerala (Tourism in Kerala. 2009).
One of the primary indicators of this reduction is the number of foreign tourists recorded to have visited the country in an assortment of years ranging from 2002 to 2009. There was a steady rise in the number of foreign tourists between 2002 to 2008. However, this saw a steep nosedive in 2009 as tabulated below (Tourism in Kerala. 2009).
Another of the primary indicators of this reduction is the drop in foreign currency injection into the area. International Tourists are a major source of foreign currency for the region. The drop in international tourists also saw a sharp drop in foreign currency as seen from the tabulated results in Figure 1 below.
It is obvious from the foregoing that the concerns of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation [KTDC] are well founded. Considering that this came at time when they had injected millions of dollars into tourism development activities, the drop in arrivals caught them off guard and negated most of the good work they had put in. Evidence of this promotion exercise abounds in the KTDC website (Tourism in Kerala. 2009).
There is however more than meets the eye in the interplay of factors that caused this sudden reduction in visitors to the region. Though some of the factors may be quite obvious, taking into account that