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The Development Of Tourism In Kerala

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Tourism
Wordcount: 3787 words Published: 4th May 2017

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In the book KERALAS Economic Development – Performance and Problems in the Post-Liberalization Period by B. A. Prakash, there is an article on Tourism Development in Kerala by Nalini Netto which says that Kerala has emerged as an undisputed tourism hotspot of India with its catchy promotional logo “God’s Own Country”. National Geographic Traveler, in a landmark issue in 2000, rated Kerala in ‘Paradise Found’ category. Ever since the govt. of India declared tourism as an industry in 1986 and Kerala was the first state to declare so, Kerala is doing aggressive marketing of tourism product by establishing “Tourism Mart” in Kochi which has its links with national and global tourism bodies like South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange, Travel Agent Association of India (TAAI), Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA) etc.

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Government of Kerala is also playing role of facilitator and regulator for the prosperity and growth of the tourism sector by encouraging private participations in the sector. Government is providing subsidy of 10 percent on capital investment in the sector subject to maximum 10 Lakh with additional subsidy of 15 percent on the investment in pollution control facilities and equipment.

Kerala with 600 Km coast line offers one of the best beaches in India. Western Ghats provide few finest hill stations for summer resort. Rich ecological forest, wild life reserves and backwaters provide a full eye soothing natural beauty to the state. Ayurveda, the health tourism product is another USP of Kerala Tourism due to abundance of herbs and medicinal plants.

The earnings from tourism in the state in 2001 were estimated to be Rs. 535 crore. This book also emphasizes that this sector still has unused potential which if utilized in an environmentally conscious way can generate more revenue for the state and the country.


In the book on “Tourism Marketing” by “Devahish Dasgupta” in the chapter of “Destination Branding: Building Brand Equity” a case study is presented on “Measuring Brand Performance -A Kerala Survey” in which analysis of the survey on the brand performance of Kerala is given which was conducted in India and abroad, featuring countries such as Spain, France, Denmark, Italy, Belgium and other countries. People, who have not visited Kerala before, responded that they came to know about the state by ‘word of mouth’ and wanted to visit. People, who had already visited Kerala expressed that they had a memorable experience in Kerala. This case study talked about effective marketing strategies to undertake market research to indentify and assemble a highly attractive product should be developed to differentiate from competing tourist destinations. More emphasis is given to Tourist-centric products and issues relating to price, security, health, safety and quality should be studied. It says that failure to build and sustain destination brand equity or the value of brand in the minds of potential visitors and investor, can lead to economic decline.


Article by E T N, Global Travel Industry News “Tourism is contributor to The Growth of The Economy” The Tourism Minister Kumari Selja has said that development of infrastructure holds the key to the growth of tourism and that is why the Government is investing heavily for integrated development of the Infrastructure Sector. She said that Tourism Sector, with 9.24% share of employment, accords a perfect opportunity to translate our vision of inclusive growth to reality.


In an essay written on “Medical Tourism in India: Progress or Predicament?” by Sunita Reddy and Imrana Qadeer, it is estimated that the size of the medical tourism market in the country will be Rs 1, 95,000 crore in 2012. The essay also examines the implications of medical tourism for general medical care and how such policy shifts distort health systems. This analysis raises questions of accessibility, affordability, and ethics in medical care, and asks if it is sensible to promote medical tourism in a democratic welfare state, with poor public healthcare facilities for the masses.


Contentious and contradictions of tourism as development option : a case of Kerala, India

by T T Sreekumar, Govindan Parayil

The projected picture of an emerging vitality in the tourism sector in Kerala stands in stark contrast to the general scenario of the poor performance of the tourism industry in India, as well as in South Asia in general. This paper takes a closer look at this scenario by placing Kerala’s performance against the larger backdrop of tourism dynamics as experienced in Third World countries in general and South Asia in particular. It shows that no effort has been made so far to assess the environmental sustain-ability of keeping tourism as a high-growth option, given the fragile nature of Kerala’s environment and the carrying capacity of the major tourist destinations.

It further reveals that the increasing comparative advantage of developing countries has not yet resulted in any significant rise in their share in global tourism arrivals and receipts and the regions which are able to grab the lion’s share of tourism arrivals and receipts are the economically advanced ones. In India’s case, the fact that tourism contributes to 6.9% of its total export earnings is not an insignificant point and Kerala tourism sector’s share in the State Domestic Product (SDP) remains at less than 1 % even after a decade of concerted efforts to boost the tourism industry. The belief that tourism has become ‘an engine of growth’ in Kerala is hence unfounded. Tourism is making only a marginal contribution to the local economy, its harmful impacts on the ecology of the region are becoming increas-ingly visible


Kerala: Exploring Future Frontiers in Tourism Development by Dept. of tourism, Kerala

This book talks about the possibilities and problems for tourism in Kerala. A fully literate population and astonishing geographical diversity full of beaches, backwaters, wildlife sanctuaries and evergreen forests in the smallest area possible, are factors that helps Kerala transform into an Important tourist state in India.

On the other hand, high density of population, consequent non availability of land, lack of professional training and distance from the important cities of India are all negative factors which constraint its overall growth as a tourism destination.


Reinventing Kerala : A success story by R. Krishnakumar

This article discusses about a series of innovative concepts and projects developed by the state to reinvigorate the State’s tourism sector without diluting its commitment to conserve nature. It is “multi-destination tourism” at its best, offering a multitude of variegated experiences and attractions within a relatively small area, luring tourists into staying longer and spending more. In order to attract foreign tourists new tourism concepts such as monsoon tourism, medical tourism, adventure tourism, heritage tourism, pilgrimage tourism, eco tourism, and farm tourism are being developed and popularized. In order to encourage more private sector investment and to conserve nature, a number of Special Tourism Zones are to be identified and developed under the purview of the Kerala Tourism (Conservation and Preservation of Areas) Act, 2005, which envisages the conservation, preservation and integrated development of such areas. Unexplored or lesser-known areas, especially in the Malabar region, traditional skills, handicrafts, art forms, and new tourism products are to be developed and marketed to sustain tourist interest. With new initiatives in providing better infrastructure and trained human resource, Kerala tourism is putting all its efforts with the slogan of vision 2025: “Conserve Nature and Culture and Promote Tourism” in order to achieve sustainable growth.


Tourist arrivals in India: how important are domestic disorders? by Dhariwal, Richa

India, with its rich natural beauty, is unquestionably a destination that should promote tourism and it has taken various measures to do this, but the tourism potential of the country has still not been maximized. In the past few years, Indian tourism industry is significantly contributing to the nation’s gross domestic product, foreign exchange earnings and employment. This paper analyses the determinants of international tourist arrivals in India using annual data from 1966 to 2000 and the results show that sociopolitical factors – communalism, terrorism and tensions with Pakistan – constitute serious threats to the tourism industry, limiting the gains that could otherwise have been realized.


Quantitative Methods

To address the research question we will try to answer some related issues and objectives using quantitative methods as illustrated below:

Objective 1: To determine whether there is any change in the volume of inbound tourists over the years and what can be the expected projections in the arrival and the growth rate.

We will collect data from Kerala Tourism department and will conduct a regression analysis in order to estimate the volume of tourism in the future. This would let us know the importance of the need to boost tourism both domestic and international through promotions.

Objective 2: Is there any trend of decline in no. of International tourists arriving to the state.

Our hypothesis would be as follows:

Null Hypothesis: Number of tourists to Kerala does not decrease

Alternate Hypothesis: Number of tourists to Kerala decreases

From the simple linear regression we will find out if the prediction for tourists for the forthcoming years or increases with a certain percentage (95%) of confidence level.

Objective 3: What is currently the volume of domestic tourists to the state, and what are the projections one can expect without any additional focused marketing efforts. (maintaining the current level of activity)

We will obtain the information about the month wise domestic tourists’ arrival from the Kerala state department personals and website. We will plot the seasonal pattern seen in the inflow of tourists for any two years. After doing a regression on the obtained statistics, we can get the results for domestic tourists’ inflow annually

Data Collection


A questionnaire was designed to target tourists in and around major tourist spots in Kozhikode like Kappad Beach. Specific questions were asked in order to get the true picture of the situation and help to segment the data. For segmentation, we will use Cluster analysis on the set of data collected by the questionnaire. The questionnaire will try to focus on the interest of the tourists regarding the purpose of their visits, transportation mode convenient to them and their future plans to revisit the tourist destinations. Questionnaire we will be using is attached in the Appendix A.

Focus Group Discussion:

We will conduct a focus group discussion of about 10 people. These are students of IIM Kozhikode with keen interest in touring. These people want their vacations to be fun-filled, relaxing and rejuvenating, especially an escape from the hectic schedules and work stress. Demographically also they are similar with almost same age group and similar incomes. Moderator will ask them the questions about on what parameters they judge a tourist spot and regarding their opinions about the service and infrastructure facilities in the tourist spots they visited. Focus Group Discussion details are included in the Appendix B

Qualitative Methods

Since it is difficult to go far off places in kerala, we will be using the “observation method” in the qualitative method to be congruent with the research question. Data will be collected from the major tourist agencies, national tourism sites and state tourism centre which would help us analyse qualitatively the number of tourist that are visiting Kerala year after year. In case of survey regarding the tourist, the type of measurement scale used will depend on individual questions in the questionnaire. For example, to determine the major tourism places in kerala.

Scaling is a method of changing attributes (a series of qualitative facts) into variables (a quantitative series). Ordinal scale will fit better for the purpose. For collecting data on the tourist preference, we will be using Likert scale to measure the responses. It will be used to determine the attitude of the tourist coming to India.


Objective 1: To determine whether there is any change in the volume of inbound international tourists and what can be the expected projections in arrivals and growth rate

Using the foreign tourist inflow data from Kerala Tourism department, we carried out a regression analysis in order to estimate the volume of international tourism in the near future. This would let us know the importance of the need to supplement domestic tourists with international tourists. The figures of the number of foreign tourists and the variance as compared to the previous year are shown in the table below:-


Foreign Tourists
































From SPSS analysis for the above collected data.

From Above SPSS Model, Eqn. will be

Y= 46110*X + 119502

Here Y= No of Foreign Tourists in a particular year

X=Year (we have taken value of x for year 2000 as 1 and subsequently for next year.)

Using the above regression model we can predict the international tourists for the next five years as shown in following table.



















Objective 2: Is there any trend of decline in no. of International tourists arriving to the state.

In order to find out the above objective we use hypothesis testing

Null Hypothesis: Number of international tourists to Kerala is not decreasing.

Alternate Hypothesis: Number of international tourists to Kerala is decreasing.

From the simple linear regression we can see that the prediction for international tourists for the forthcoming years seem to decrease with 95% confidence and hence we accept the null hypothesis i.e. No. of international tourists to Kerala is not decreasing.

Objective 3: What is currently the volume of domestic tourists to the state, and what are the projections one can expect without any additional focused marketing efforts. (maintaining the current level of activity)

We obtained the information about the domestic tourists from the Kerala state department. The figures are as follows:


Domestic Tourists
































From Above SPSS Model, Eqn. will be

Y= 287046*X + 4621000

Here Y= No of Domestic Tourists in a particular year

X=Year (we have taken value of x for year 2000 as 1 and subsequently for next year.)

Using the above regression model we can predict the international tourists for the next five years as shown in following table.



















Secondary data Collection:

In order to obtain data, we took the help of online search for tourism data. We found that the number of tourists has been increasing. But the growth rate could have been more. The characteristics of the tourists have been seen to be urban based. They are young and employed.

Primary Data collection:

A questionnaire was designed to target specific groups of people in 4 Metros (Bangalore, Bombay, Delhi and Chennai) who are in job and also students of IIM Kozhikode. Specific questions were asked in order to get the true picture of the situation and help us to segment the data. Around 36 responses were obtained without missing values. The rest were separated out.

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Initially, we looked at 10 different attributes i.e. Shopping, Historical Importance, Weather, Hospitality, Relaxation, Connectivity, Events, Adventure, Proximity and Value for money. Respondents to the questionnaire were asked about their opinion regarding the attribute importance for any destination. Then we went on to do a Factor analysis to identify the most significant factors and their correlations. Using principle component analysis, we came down to following four significant factors.

Factor 1-Characteristic culture: Hospitality, connectivity and adventure

Factor 2-Costliness: Value for money (positive correlation), Events, proximity

Factor 3-Climatic conditions: Weather, relaxation

Factor 4-Historical significance: Historical Importance, Negatively related with Value for money

Component Score Coefficient Matrx
























































For further segmentation, we used Cluster analysis on the set of data collected by the online questionnaire. The cluster variables were based on the demographics like income, age, employment status.

Using Hierarchical clustering and between group linkage procedure, we looked at the coefficients in the agglomeration schedule and the dendogram to reach a cluster of size 2 and 3. Next we also looked at the frequency distributions in order to decide if the clusters are large enough. Finally, we arrived at 2 clusters.

Cluster 1



Mean employment


Post graduate and employee people

Mean geographical location


North and South Indians

Mean Marital status



Age group


18-25 years



between 5-10 lacs

Cluster 2



Mean employment


No differentiation

Mean geographical location


West and East Indians

Mean Marital status


married and single

Age group


18-25 years



between 5-10 lacs

Analysis of the competition with other states:

We considered the major tourist hotspots in India like Goa, Andaman & Nicobar, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and the North-East to form an idea about the attributes that differentiate them. Using Multidimensional scaling we obtained the perceptual mapping of the states in terms of 4 different dimensions in two plots.

As we can see from the above plot, Kerala has a distinct image

If we look at crowd, Kerala and Goa are pretty similar. They pull decent number of similar kind of crowds to their destinations.

Other attributes: Cost and connectivity, Andaman Nicobar and Lakhswadeep are different from Kerala in these two aspects.

The plot below shows the Euclidean distance as observed from the dissimilarity matrix.

The second MDS process was run to compare on other attributes like beaches, hillstations, and other location characteristics.

The chart is shown in the following plot.


• It was found that Kerala differs in historical significance from Rajasthan

• In terms of scenic beauty Kerala is high up against Goa and the North-East


Most people view Kerala to be a place of scenic beauty constituted by the Backwaters, beaches and Hills.

From the above analysis, we can say that Kerala has a distinct competitive edge over other states and should capitalize on it by promoting its strengths. Kerala should look into the specific segments and target the young and fresh in jobs people.

Media for Kerala:

The awareness about Kerala was high and Internet and friends were the highest contributors. The plot below shows the results of the research (questionnaire). Internet and word-of-mouth spread of news constitute over half of the publicity Kerala receives.


Based on the findings we suggest the following communication strategy:

• More Media campaign should be there to highlight Kerala’s distinct image.

• Internet should be used a powerful Communication channels

• More focus should be on the North and South urban centers.

• Leverage on existing customers to get new ones


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