Kerala on Friday bagged the 'Best Destination for Families' award through an online poll conducted by Lonely Planet magazine. The award ceremony was held in Mumbai and Director of Kerala Tourism, P Bala Kiran, received it on behalf of the state.
Tourism Secretary Rani George said "it feels overwhelming that the tourism industry players have appreciated the efforts of the Kerala Tourism Department".
The Lonely Planet Magazine India Travel Award 2018 recognizes the best travel destinations among various categories and winners are chosen by an online readers' survey.
An expert panel nominates destination for several categories such as romance, culture, wildlife, food and drink etc., and the winners are selected through an online readers' survey, according to a report in The Hindu.
Earlier, Munnar in Kerala won award for 'best destination for romance' category at the Lonely Planet Magazine India Travel Awards. The state had also won the same award - best destination for family - back in 2016, according to reports.
Over the years, Kerala has witnessed tremendous growth in tourist arrivals with an increase of 11.39 per cent in domestic arrivals in 2017, compared to the previous year.
The state's tourism department had also launched the 'Come out and Play' campaign to attract families to holiday in Kerala. The state is also a 12-month tourism destination, said Rani George during the ceremony.
During 2017, 1,46,73,520 tourists visited the state, up from 1,31,72,535 in 2016.
In terms of revenue, total foreign exchange from the tourism sector during 2017 increased 8.29 per cent to Rs 8,392.11 crore, as compared to 2016.
The total revenue from tourism grew from Rs 29,658 crore to Rs 33,383 crore.
The Tourism Department has set an ambitious target of increasing domestic tourist arrivals by 50 per cent and doubling the foreign tourists by 2021.
(With inputs from IANS)