Even as Tamil Nadu rose to second position among States attracting the most number of domestic tourists in 2012, having received more than 18 crore visitors, destinations in the south of the State accounted for more than a quarter of those footfalls.
Approximately 5.26 crore domestic travellers explored popular destinations in the region in 2012.
According to the Department of Tourism, around 2.4 crore people visited the temple towns of Rameswaram and Madurai in 2012.
A sizable number among them were domestic tourists from northern and western States.
“Of the total 1.28 crore travellers to Rameswaram, nearly 70 per cent domestic tourists were from Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Many domestic tourists travel by train to visit Madurai, Rameswaram and Kanyakumari,” a tourism official said. While 1.13 crore domestic tourists landed at Madurai last year, 1.11 crore footfalls were recorded at Tiruvannamalai, the famed Saivite pilgrim centre. Coastal Tiruchendur, one of the six legendary abodes of Lord Murugan, accounted for around one crore visitors while 83.25 lakh tourists flocked to Kanyakumari on the southern tip of the peninsula.
Full report here New Indian Express