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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002

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Kerala tops tourism growth rate worldwide

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Dec. 9

TRAVEL and tourism in Kerala is expected to generate Rs 8,600 million ($1,773.1 million) of economic activity during 2002, growing to Rs 478.4 billion ($ 6,645 million) by 2012.

This has been indicated in the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) Tourism Satellite Accounting Research summary for the year 2002 for Kerala.

The WTTC study shows that travel and tourism demand is expected to grow by 11.6 per cent per annum, in real terms, between 2002 and 2012.

"This is the highest recorded growth rate in the world, eclipsing WTTC's fastest growing country Turkey (10.2 per cent) as well as India (9.7 per cent), which is the second highest in the world," the study said.

Besides, Kerala registered a growth of 23.5 per cent in terms of visitor exports or external account earnings from travel and tourism over the next decade.

Indian estimates for this period are 14.3 per cent while the world average is 6.5 per cent.

"Significantly, during 2001, while India's visitor exports suffered a decline of 4.8 per cent as a result of the events of September 11, Kerala's visitor exports actually increased by 11 per cent over the results of 2000," the study said.

However, the study shows that Government expenditure at Rs 127 crore was an "abysmal" one per cent, and was expected to grow only to 1.1 per cent of the total over the next decade.

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