Kochi formerly Cochin, is a major port city on the west coast of India by the Arabian Sea and is part of the district of Ernakulam in the state of Kerala. Kochi is often called by the name Ernakulam, which refers to the mainland part of the city. The city of Kochi (pop. 601,574) is the most densely populated city in the state and is part of an extended metropolitan region (pop. 2.1 million), which is the largest urban agglomeration in Kerala. Kochi city is also a part of the Greater Cochin region and is classified as a B-1 grade city by the Government of India, making it the highest graded city in Kerala. Heralded as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the Arabian Sea coast from the 14th century. Occupied by the Portuguese Empire in 1503, Kochi was the first of the European colonies in colonial India. It remained the main seat of Portuguese India until 1530, when Goa was chosen instead. The city was later occupied by the Dutch and the British, with the Kingdom of Cochin becoming a princely state.
Kochi ranks first in the total number of international and domestic tourist arrivals in Kerala.Kochi has been ranked the sixth best tourist destination in India according to a survey conducted by the Nielsen Company on behalf of the Outlook Traveller magazine. Kochi was one of the 28 Indian cities found to be among the emerging 440 global cities that will contribute 50% of the world GDP by the year 2025, in a study done by McKinsey Global Institute.