Kerala is an established tourist destination for both Indians and non-Indians alike. Tourists mostly visit such attractions as the beaches at Kovalam, Cherai and Varkala, the hill stations of Munnar, Nelliampathi, and Ponmudi, and national parks and wildlife sanctuaries such as Periyar and Eravikulam National Park. The "backwaters" region — an extensive network of interlocking rivers, lakes, and canals that center on Alleppey, Kumarakom, and Punnamada — also see heavy tourist traffic. Examples of Keralite architecture, such as the Padmanabhapuram Palace, Padmanabhapuram, are also visited. Kochi, the commercial capital of the state, is known as the "Queen of the Arabian Sea". Alappuzha, the first planned town in Kerala, is called the "Venice of the East". Tourism plays an important role in the state's economy.
Major attractions in the state include:
Backwaters, lagoons, tropical beaches and spice farms.
Hill stations at Thekady and Munnar
Spectacular waterfalls at Athirapilly and Vazhachal
A flora and fauna at its wildlife sancturies.
Its historical monuments.
Spectular dances forms like Kathakali at various Kathakali theatres.
The houseboats of Alapuzha.
Kerala has been selected as one of the top three tourist destinations in the world by the World Travel and Tourism Council