Tourism was one of the most affected sectors across the world during Covid. Tamil Nadu tourism, which attracts several thousands of tourists from within India as well as abroad was also hit, and now the government has come up with a plan to bring back tourists to the state.
“We intend to transform Tamil Nadu into the most desirable experiential destination by leveraging its people, vibrant living cultures, diverse natural locations, ancient tradition and history,” said a senior tourism department official.
According to the tourist department official, 10 focus segments have been identified for development and promotion. They are Heritage & Pilgrimage Tourism, Coastal Tourism, Adventure Tourism, Eco & Wildlife Tourism, Medical and Wellness Tourism, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Tourism, Rural and Plantation Tourism, Caravan Tourism, Cultural Tourism, and Culinary Tourism.
In 2021, Tamil Nadu contributed to a significant 17.02% of domestic tourist visits, with over 115 million tourists visiting the state. In six out of the last seven years, Tamil Nadu ranked 1st in domestic tourist visits, continuing its dominance in the domestic tourism market, said the official.
“Despite the impact of the Covid-19 restrictions in 2021, Tamil Nadu ranked second in foreign tourist visits, with 1.23 million foreign visitors. The countries contributing a significant share of tourists visiting Tamil Nadu are the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, China, Malaysia, Germany, Russia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh,” said the official.
The Group of Monuments at Mamallapuram stands first among the places which foreign as well as domestic tourists visited in large numbers. One of the six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the state, the group of monuments ranked as the most visited among foreign tourists, representing a share of almost 45% of tourist visits.
“Mamallapuram received 1,44,984 visitors. Tamil Nadu features six monuments on the list of the top 10 most popular Heritage monuments visited by foreign tourists, including Fort Museum (Tirumayam), Fort Vattakottai, Gingee Fort, Rock Cut Jain Temple (Sittannavasal) and Tiger headed Rock Cut temple, Saluvankuppam,” he said.
Over the past decade, the state has experienced a growing pattern in the domestic and foreign tourist arrivals. However, in 2021, foreign tourist visits declined due to Covid-related restrictions.
To revive the tourism sector to its pre-Covid state, the government has announced that it will conduct a survey in all the 38 districts.
“The department of tourism will conduct a survey in all 38 districts, in accordance with the norms prescribed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). The proposed survey will collect information from tourist destinations, exit points, and accommodations. The survey will be conducted in two phases over a duration of 13 months,” the official said.
Based on the survey report, steps will be taken to showcase the tourism potential of all the districts and woo more tourists.
Read all the Latest India News and Karnataka Elections 2023 updates here