This paper is an attempt to understand the causal development mechanisms of the international tourism sector in the State of Tamil Nadu in India. Being able to identify the factors that affect the growth of the international tourism sector would enable the local government to better facilitate the growth of the sector. To achieve this objective, we employ a novel empirical methodology using the Geweke causality framework to investigate the causal drivers of the tourism industry. Our empirical results suggest that safety, transport infrastructure as well as cleanliness, sanitation and healthcare conditions are causal factors that significantly affect the development of international tourism sector in Tamil Nadu. Our empirical analysis also identifies several key policy implications for not just the state of Tamil Nadu but also other states with similar conditions on how to develop a robust international tourism sector.