Kerala, making rapid strides in tourism, registered a remarkable increase in domestic and international tourists during the first quarter (January to March) of the year. While international arrivals recorded a significant 25.89 per cent increase over the previous year's figures, the domestic tourist arrivals marked a 7.95 per cent increase. To sustain this momentum, several innovative initiatives have been introduced by Kerala Tourism for the first time in India. 'Dream Season', launched in April 2007, targeted the domestic holidaymakers and is rapidly converting the traditional off-season (April- September) into a season of opportunity for travelers hence giving Kerala Tourisma greater momentum. The initiative offers a host of packages at never-before rates. Kerala - The God's own country is a narrow, fertile strip of land on the south-west coast of India. The Kerala, God's own country is a state in India. The name Keralam in Sanskrit means the land added on. But the popular version is that it means the land of Kera, the Coconut. According to legend, the land was a gift of Parasurama, one of the ten Avatars (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Parasurama threw his battle-axe into the sea, reclaiming the landmass, Kerala. This state consists of 14 districts with Thiruvananthapuram as its capital. Kerala stands as an example for religious harmony. All the temples, churches, Mosque stand shoulder to shoulder that sometimes one fails to distinguish between them. All the festivals like Christmas, Ramzan, Onam, and Diwali are celebrated here same pomp and gaiety. Another interesting example of religious harmony is celebration of Pooram festival at Thrissur. Malayalees from all over the world irrespective of religious sentiment reach this district to watch this festival. This festival is known for the elephant march and fire-crackers. Even the Kerala cuisine is known for its spicy and hot foods. Traditionally, in Kerala food is served on a banana leaf. One has to take food with right hand. Almost every dish prepared in Kerala has coconut and spices to flavour the local cuisine giving it a sharp pungency that is heightened with the use of tamarind, while coconut gives it its richness, absorbing some of the tongue-teasing, pepper-hot flavours. Tender coconut water is a refreshing nutritious thirst quencher. The crunchy papadam, banana and jackfruit chips can give french-fries a run for their money any day.