The paintings in the Kerala pavilion at the International French Travel Mart (IFTM) in Paris generated much interest in God’s Own Country

Kerala Tourism showcased the natural beauty of the State on the artist’s canvas at the International French Travel Mart (IFTM) Top Resa in Paris to woo visitors from Kerala’s second biggest market.

The Kerala series of paintings was mounted on the walls of a sprawling pavilion at the just-concluded IFTM 2013, drawing thousands of visitors. The three-day IFTM, the largest travel and tourism fair in France and attended by who’s who of the tourism industry, was held from September 24.

The State pavilion, which had the paintings as the theme, came in for a lot of praise, especially on September 27, World Tourism Day, when a large number of people flocked to the fair. The wall-to-wall paintings enchanted the visitors with colourful portrayals of Kerala’s abundant flora and fauna.

“France remains a strong market for us in terms of tourist arrivals,” said S. Harikishore, Director, Kerala Tourism, who led the Kerala delegation to the 35th edition of the IFTM.

“The interest in Kerala among French travellers was tremendous, and if the massive response to our delegation is any indication, we are going to witness an impressive increase in tourist arrivals,” he said.

France is the second largest market for Kerala after the United Kingdom. Nearly one lakh French tourists visited the State last year. Known for its strong focus on leisure tourism, business tourism, and business travel, the IFTM Top Resa is also famous for its culture-themed events and culture village.

The Kerala delegation held a series of meetings with industry representatives from France during the IFTM. Leading French tour operators and travel media professionals were involved in the meetings with the Kerala Tourism Director and co-exhibitors from the State.

The Kerala delegation also included three leading hoteliers. The Kerala pavilion was also visited by India’s Ambassador to France Arun K. Singh.