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Monday, 06 January, 2014, 15 : 00 PM [IST]

Chennai records highest number of tourists in TN last year

Chennai reportedly received the maximum number of visitors, both foreign and domestic, than all other tourist places in Tamil Nadu in 2013. Though pilgrim destinations like Rameswaram and Madurai were among the preferred spots by Indians, Chennai ranked first last year. As on October-end last year, the city received 15,843,181 domestic tourists and 588,138 foreigners, thus totaling 16,431,319 visitors, J V Siva Prasanna Kumar reported in Deccan Chronicle.

Over all, Tamil Nadu received over 17.56 crore tourist footfall, including 30.81 lakh foreigners. Chennai’s sprawling beaches, airport, seaport, good air connectivity, heritage and ancient temples are among the numerous attractions.

Madurai received 12,795,639 footfall, including 194,288 foreigners, followed by Rameswaram with 11,382,432, including 82,635 foreigners. Thiruvannamalai received 10,184,747, including 109,015 foreign nationals.

Interestingly, the popular haunts like Ooty received 8,311,263 domestic visitors in addition to 251,803 foreigners; Kodaikanal, 8,258,807 and 197,318 foreigners; and the popular Mamallapuram got 4,077,481 domestic tourists and 390,642 foreigners.

Temple towns like Tiruchendur received 9,675,703 visitors, Kanyakumari 8,392,423, Palani 6,946,141 and Kumbakonam 6,327,260 as on October-end 2013. Though the final tally is yet to come, as per estimates of the Tourism Department, Government of Tamil Nadu the number will surpass 187,698,580 visitors, including 3,561,740 foreigners, received in 2012.

“There is an increase in arrivals on a year-on-year basis and this is a healthy trend. In tune with the policies of the state government and also taking into account the needs of the increasing volume of tourists, we are aiming to develop several new locations that so far have not been exploited,” said Hemant Kumar Sinha, Commissioner of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu.

This apart, talks are on with the Forest Department to promote nature trails, treks and Ecotourism circuits, keeping in mind the areas notified by the Supreme Court of India.
 
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