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Since the later part of 2014, China has replaced developed nations as home to the largest number of outbound tourists. Nearly 12.2 crore Chinese tourists visited various foreign destinations and spent US$ 110 billion overseas in 2016. However, only about 2.5 lakh of them opted India as their destination, while only a meagre 6,000 of them chose to visit Kerala. The total number of foreign tourists who visited Kerala in 2016 was about 10 lakh. If Kerala succeeds in attracting at least one percent of the total Chinese travellers, the state’s intake of foreign tourists would have simply doubled. A marked increase in the arrival of foreign tourists to Kerala would have given a much- needed impetus to its economy reeling under the devastating effects of the floods of 2018. This working paper titled, ‘A Chinese Solution to Kerala’s Tourism Sector Woes’ explores at great length the various facets of the travelling Chinese and provides a detailed blueprint on how Kerala can gear up to welcome the Chinese. From increasing air connectivity to providing clean toilets to forging sister state/sister city relationships, the paper covers every aspect that Kerala’s tourism sector needs to make ready before taking the plunge to lure the travelling Chinese.
Muraleedharan Nair is Senior Fellow with CPPR. He is a retired Indian diplomat who has served in the Indian missions in China (Shanghai and Guangzhou), Singapore, and Hong Kong. Mr Nair is one of Kerala’s foremost experts on China and writes for prominent magazines and newspapers in India. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org