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Kerala earns Rs 264.41 crore from eco-tourism in 9 years

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Efforts of Kerala government to promote sustainable tourism projects, mainly wilderness and eco-tourism, have yielded good results with eco-tourism generating a revenue of Rs 264.41 crore in the last nine years.

As per the latest figures released by Kerala Government, between 2013 and 2022, the revenue from ecotourism has shown a steady rise except in 2021 and 2022 due to pandemic induced slowdown. Though there was a dip in revenue in 2021, it rose from 15.06 crore to 23.34 crore in 2022.

“Kerala has been encouraging the visitors to explore the state’s vast wilderness and experience the beauty of nature in its purest form. A large number of tourists prefer exploring the wilderness rather than luxury. Foreign tourists coming to Kerala want to spend their days enjoying the rustic beauty of the state,” said Kerala Destinations Private Limited director Saby Jose.

“These tourists want eco-friendly resorts and camping destinations. They prefer sustainable tourism models aimed at environment protection,” Saby added.

The figures released by Kerala government shows that 36.35 lakh people visited the eco-tourism centres in 2022 compared to 17.61 lakh in 2021.

“The government is promoting sustainable tourism to preserve the natural resources for future generations. We want Kerala to be a destination for travellers who are looking to experience the beauty of nature in its purest form,” said an officer with the tourism department.

Among Kerala’s eco-tourism spots, Eravikulam attracted the most visitors at 16.23 lakh. Meanwhile, Athirappilly fetched the highest income at Rs. 5.2 crore. The Forest Divisions that generated the highest income during 2021-22 are Ponmudi, Peppara, Munnar Wildlife, Parambikulam, Vazhachal, Thiruvananthapuram, and Periyar East.

Kerala has 60 eco-tourism centres spread across 32 Forest Divisions in 12 districts, including Thenmala, which is India’s first planned Ecotourism destination. These tourism destinations operate under the Forest Development Agency of the State Forest and Wildlife Department. 

Unlike typical tourism destinations, eco-tourism centres operate under strict guidelines without disturbing the forest and its wildlife. 

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