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Abstract

Kerala is often referred to as ‘God’s own Country’ because of its enviable natural beauty. Kerala has one of the best resources in the whole of India that are conducive for the growth of tourism. Its features like unique natural endowments, special geographical location, vast coastal areas and better physical infrastructure make it one of the topmost tourism destinations in India and also the whole world. However, Kerala was late in recognizing its huge tourism potential and hence it could not effectively utilize its vast resources for the development of tourism and hence the economy as a whole. The flood that occurred in Kerala in August 2018 has been one of the deadliest the state has witnessed ever since the one in 1924. The flood has adversely affected all facets of Kerala economy including the tourism sector which accounts for about 12 percent of the state’s GDP. In this context, this paper has made a closer look into the problems and prospects of Kerala tourism, the impact of the flood havoc on tourism, and its current status. Thus the paper suggests strategies for the sustained growth of Kerala tourism and hence the Kerala economy as a whole, with a focus on the Responsible Tourism (RT) and its variants like Ecotourism. It is noted that despite the adverse effects of the flood, Kerala tourism could exhibit high level of resilience, has gradually picked up and has got bright growth prospects.

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