The tourism arena in Kerala will receive added support from the government with the state budget 2018 setting aside close to Rs 381 crore towards development and promotion of the sector. The budgetary provisioning is Rs 36 crore more than the Rs 345 crore that was set aside last year. Presenting the Budget in the Kerala Assembly, Dr Thomas Isaac, Minister for Finance, said the state government will focus more on conservation and preservation of heritage monuments in the coming financial year.
The Finance Minister set aside Rs 82.50 crore towards marketing of the tourism sector. Lauding Kerala Tourism’s nine international awards last year, Dr Isaac said the government would accord priority to conservation of heritage monuments in the state as part of its plans towards tourism development. An amount to the tune of Rs 40 crore has been set aside in this regard. The Muziris project, which has been progressing at a slow pace, shall be speeded up and will be completed in a period of two years. Plans are also afoot to include destinations such as Thalassery, Ponnani and Beypore in the tourism map.
Dr Thomas Isaac’s budget has also set aside Rs 16 crore towards organising cultural events such as the Kochi Muziris Biennale, Nishagandhi Dance and Music festivals, Onam celebrations, Thrissur Pooram, Theyyam festivals, boat races and others.