Kerala, once the little known land on the southern part of India, has grown to become a renowned destination in the tourism map of the world. The State’s biodiversity, wildlife, undulating hills, unparalleled backwaters, thick forests and its heritage lure millions of visitors nowadays. Kerala also nourishes and supports the traditional healthcare system Ayurveda and just the brand `ayurveda kerala’ is enough to draw another group of health tourists to the State. There are a lot of factors that contributed to the growth of Kerala as a major tourist destination and a large part of the credit goes to tourism department of the State.
It will be interesting to have a look into the history of the department. In 1950s, a State Hospitality Department came into being to manage the tourism related activities of the State; in 1960s the wing was renamed as Department of Tourism. But at that time the responsibility of the department was restricted to running the government guest houses, ministers’ residences and making arrangement for the visit of distinguished guests. After a few years, the duties of the department enhanced and at present, it supervises and carries out all the programmes related to popularising the brand `Kerala’ among tourists and creating more facilities, planning out and implementing initiatives to lure tourists from across the world. The tourism sector now contributes more than 6 percent of our GDP and the influx of tourists has increased manifold during the last few years, thanks to various initiatives of Tourism Department in Kerala.