The programme started with girls, in their traditional attire, performing the welcome dance. It was followed by a youth performing the ancient marital art form ‘Kalaripayattu’.

The rich cultural tradition of Kerala came alive during the “The wondrous melodies of Kerala”, organised by the Kerala Tourism Department, here on Thursday evening.

The programme started with girls, in their traditional attire, performing the welcome dance. It was followed by a youth performing the ancient marital art form ‘Kalaripayattu’. The Mohini Attam and Kathakali dances enthralled the gathering. The audience watched in awe as two youths performed the traditional sword fight. A small mistake can either cost a limb or the life of the performer.

A representative of Kerala Tourism Anil V.S. said that Kerala Tourism Information Centres would be opened in Vizag and other places to draw more tourists to ‘God’s Own Country’.

He said that there was a misconception among the general public that tourism was meant only for foreigners and the rich. He said that there were packages for the economy class also.

Kerala had attracted 7.33 lakh foreign tourists in 2011 as compared to 6.59 lakhs during the previous year. The number of domestic tourists went up to 93.81 lakhs in 2011 as compared to 85.95 lakhs during the previous year. The foreign exchange earnings had gone up from Rs.3,797.37 crores in 2010 to Rs.4,221.99 crores in 2011. The total revenue from tourism, both direct and indirect, touched Rs.19,037 crores last year as compared to Rs.17,348 crores in 2010.

The seventh Kerala Travel Mart, KTM 2012 will be held at Le Meridien International Convention Centre in Cochin from September 27 to 30. The Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF) will be held from December 1, 2012 to January 1, 2013. The event would showcase amazing entertainment events, fresh enterprises, mind blowing offers and exciting prizes both for shops and shoppers.

More details can be had by visiting the website .

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