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Wooing mortals to ‘God’s Own Country’

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Balancing Act:Traditional dancers from Kerala performing at a road show in Delhi to promote tourism back home.
Balancing Act:Traditional dancers from Kerala performing at a road show in Delhi to promote tourism back home.

Kerala Tourism introduces new features to attract domestic, foreign tourists

To attract domestic as well as foreign holidaymakers, Kerala Tourism has introduced a range of innovative plans.

Addressing a press conference in the Capital on Thursday, Kerala Tourism Director M. Sivasankar said that several new features have been added to woo tourists to the State this season. “As part of the tourism drive, we have introduced ‘Malabar Tourism Development Initiative’ to showcase our rich wildlife and hill stations. In outdoor activity, we have started adventure tourism in a big way and are giving tips to tourists to cook gastronomic delicacies. ‘Dream Season’ which is targeted at the domestic tourists is rapidly converting the traditional off season – April to September – into a season of opportunities for travellers,” he added.

Yatch Race at Kochi

Mr. Sivasankar said that Kochi had joined the big league as a stopover port for ‘Volvo Ocean Race,’ the world’s premier offshore yacht race. “The 2008 edition of ‘Volvo Ocean Race’ is coming to Asia for the first time. Showcasing the best of our State is the ‘Kerala Travel Mart’ that brings together the business fraternity and entrepreneurs to know about our tourism services. Then rural tourism has been introduced this season in which the India Government has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme to throw open two rural sights for tourists.”

Stating that Kerala plans to focus on sustainable and responsible tourism in the long run, Mr. Sivasankar explained: “We want to bring together the tourism industry and the local community so that there is no conflict of interest. We had organised a meeting of all property owners and panchayats who expressed their concerns and a consensus was arrived at. Some hotels have agreed to procure vegetables and meat from the local community.”

The second “Grand Kerala Shopping Festival 2008-2009” will be held from December 1 this year to January 15, 2009.

“One of the major objectives of the festival is to make the State an international shopping destination,” said Mr. Sivasankar.

Madhur Tankha

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