PATA India promotes Kerala Tourism

During the pandemic, like many other tourism destinations, Kerala Tourism was also hit badly. However, the state is now all geared up to welcome tourists and is thus bringing new tourism products while making sure that the most popular offerings for tourists are also marketed well.

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V Krishna Teja, Ex-Director, Kerala Tourism, recently attended PATA India Webinar ‘Jewels of India with Kerala Tourism’ and updated the industry about the state’s offerings.

Kerala is ready

Teja said, “Every minute, Kerala tourism receives 35 domestic tourists and two international tourists. During COVID, like many other tourism destinations, even Kerala tourism was badly affected. In fact, two years — 2020 & 2021 — can be regarded as standstill in Kerala tourism. However, our government is successful in ensuring proper testing, tracking, tracing and treating of COVID related patients and I can proudly say today 100 per cent of the people above 18 years in Kerala are single-dose vaccinated, 88.5 per cent are double vaccinated and 50 per cent have got a booster dose. This shows how resilient and committed Kerala is in promoting safe and secured tourism. State is ready to receive tourists.”

Ayurveda

Claiming that Kerala is synonymous with Ayurveda, Teja said, “While Ayurveda treatments are available at all the places these days, there are four main reasons why people come to Kerala for getting an Ayurvedic treatment. The most important part of Ayurvedic treatment is the quality of oils, which Kerala offers in abundance owing to its rich biodiversity. The second and most important aspect of Ayurvedic treatment is Kerala’s weather, which is warm and moist, and is best suited for Ayurvedic treatment. Thirdly, Ayurveda is part of Kerala’s culture since thousands of years with Ashthavaidya, which is eight different disciplines of Ayurveda, each dedicated to one specific treatment. Today, our government is successful in converting this traditional discipline into a scientific discipline by establishing Ayurvedic medical colleges. Hence, in Kerala, you have the right weather, the freshness of oils, a culture and a trained and scientifically disciplined manpower.”

He mentioned Kerala backwaters as the another key product. “Kerala is blessed with a large stretch of backwaters, lakes, canals, and the best way to explore these is in a beautiful houseboat or in a resort, located along the shores of the backwaters,” he added.

Active and adventure holidays

Saying that Kerala is a new entrant in the adventure tourism market, Teja explained, “But, we have become famous for nature-based, soft adventure activities. We are blessed with a series of forests and hills. Today Kerala is known for trekking, biking, kayaking and rafting.”

Caravan tourism

In a bid to reinvent itself and offering tourists ways to explore destinations beyond the popular sites, Kerala introduced a concept called Caravan Tourism, revealed Teja. “Tourists opting for Caravan Tourism will be received in a caravan at the airports and then they can choose where and how they want to have their breakfast, lunch, dinner or how they want to spend their day and night. Everything will be provided by the driver as per their wish and they can choose to go for a caravan park located in one of these destinations and the caravan will be provided. The people will be provided the experience like bonfire and barbecue at the park. The Caravan is a new and youngest product of Kerala tourism. It is also the most successful product of Kerala tourism, especially after houseboat,” he informed.

Forest & wildlife

Another highlight of Kerala is forest and wildlife. “One of the best aspects of Kerala is having the evergreen forest, the deciduous forest, the Sholas forest, the grassland and mangroves. With almost all varieties of forests available in Kerala, it is known for its richness in biodiversity,” he shared.

Responsible tourism

Kerala is a land that pioneered responsible tourism, claimed Teja. “If `100 is spent by a tourist in Kerala today, we are sure that minimum `30-`40 will reach to the local people living in the surrounding areas. Responsible tourism’s ultimate objective is making the local people benefitted out of tourism,” he added.

2022: Year of Kerala Tourism

Teja suggested, “2022 can be a year of Kerala Tourism because we have lined up a series of adventure activities, sports and events, which make sure that it will attract tourists, like Champion Boat League from September to November; Kochi Mujiris Binale from December to March; Malabar River Festival, Splash, Mountain Terrain Biking, etc. All these will engage tourists all over the year.”

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