South India set to outdo the North in tourist arrivals
By Aashima On 21 Feb, 2013 At 07:30 PM | Categorized As India, The Business of Travel | With 0 Comments
If the latest projections of the Ministry of Tourism are to be trusted, the south of India is all set to give the North a run for its money – both rupees and dollars – when it comes to tourist arrivals. A study, whose findings were recently released, claims that the South will surpass the North by far in tourist arrivals, by swelling margins each year.

It states that by the year 2022, the number of domestic tourists to the south will rise to the incredible figure of 1.6 billion annual visitors, while the figure of foreign tourists will reach 14 million. In the north, however, the growth is expected to be comparatively slower. Against the 1.6 billion of the south, the north will see just 55 million domestic tourists in 2022. Beginning with 30 percent growth until 2017, the north will see a 44 percent growth rate till 2022.

This change in trends is being attributed to a lot of different reason, and not just one decisive factor. According to the Treasurer, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), N G Shankar, “South as a destination is only being explored now. Moreover, with the IT sector developing, business travellers who travel to Southern cities, often return later on vacation, wanting to explore more. Places like Hampi in Karnataka, Kovalam and Varkala beaches in Kerala and even cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Puducherry are now generating a lot of interest.”

The wildly successful “God’s Own Country” campaign by Kerala Tourism has driven travellers - both domestic and foreign - to the state. The South also has a great number of one to three star hotels and most of the domestic travellers prefer hotels in this category. Also, the new, younger bunch of travellers are a lot more curious and willing to explore lesser-known destinations, using modes of travel that at not always obvious.

Those who are in the business, however, are cautiously optimistic. According to an expert, “If the South has to continue along this development curve, then we need to have more boutique hotels in Southern cities and better road and air transport accessibility. Hotspots like Coorg could draw in bigger numbers if transport is improved.”


About - In grade 7, Aashima's Geography teacher made her fall in love with the big big world and the small little places in it. She's still all starry eyed about it.

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