News story published in The New Indian Express based on the research paper ‘A Chinese Solution to Kerala’s Tourism Sector Woes’ by Muraleedharan Nair, Senior Fellow, CPPR

The Chinese literature, movies, martial arts and even products have influenced the lives of millions of people in the country, especially in Kerala. Despite this, a full-fledged tourism circuit connecting two ancient countries, which would have benefited the economies of both countries, is yet to be developed.

Recently, the Kerala government started preparing a plan of action to woo Chinese tourists to the God’s Own Country, but it’s yet to take off as the project is awaiting the government nod. The Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), a think tank dedicated to in-depth research on current economic, social and political issues, has come up with a research paper which  emphasises the need to open the doors of Kerala to China as the outbound tourists from the most populous country has the potential to change the tourism economy of the state.

Muraleedharan Nair, senior fellow at CPPR and retired Indian diplomat who had served in the Indian missions in China, Singapore and Hong Kong for about 10 years, told Express the state should give priority for tapping the potential of Chinese tourism industry to strengthen the economy of the flood-hit state.

In the research paper, titled ‘A Chinese Solution to Kerala’s Tourism Sector Woes’ and authored by Nair, he said China has been playing a vital role in boosting the tourism economies of many Asian countries.
Chinese are now the largest group of inbound tourists in countries such as Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Russia, the Maldives, Indonesia, North Korea, the UK and South Africa.

If around 11.7 crore Chinese tourists visited various global destinations in 2015, their number rose to 12.2 crores in 2016 spending over $ 110 billion, an average of $ 900 in each trip. These figures rose to about 12.9 crore travellers in 2017, marking a 5.7 per cent growth and $ 115.3 billion in spending. However, the country received only about 2.5 lakh of them and among them only a meagre 6,000 opted to visit Kerala in 2016.

This news story can be also read at The New Indian Express’s website.