Kerala top choice among foreign tourists, say travel agents

KTM delegates evince keen interest in caravan tourism project

May 06, 2022 09:02 pm | Updated 09:03 pm IST

Delegates at Kerala Travel Mart in Kochi on Friday.

Delegates at Kerala Travel Mart in Kochi on Friday. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

Kerala has emerged as the first choice of global tourists visiting India, post the pandemic as travellers from across continents find the southern Indian State rich and alluring as a cultural experience, say foreign travel agents at the 11th edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) that will conclude here on Sunday.

Zsolt Jurak, who is the owner of World Travel Master KFT in Hungary, said Kerala was one of the best parts in the whole of India, because of its traditional values, ayurveda and wellness, tasty food and warm people. “At the KTM-2022, I am specifically looking for new possibilities and places,” he added.

Eunsook Park, an official of Withus Tours from South Korea, said her compatriots, who are generally interested in pilgrimage, are keen to visit the churches of Kochi. “Normally, Koreans are interested in pilgrimage tour packages. They choose Kerala and Chennai for pilgrimage packages. Natural beauty makes Kerala an apt place to relax,” she added.

Delegates at Kerala Travel Mart in Kochi on Friday.

Delegates at Kerala Travel Mart in Kochi on Friday. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The serenity of Kerala’s tourism destinations gets enhanced by their cultural ambience, making the State especially attractive for foreign tourists, said Alexandra Nazimek, owner of Planet Escape, Poland.

Around 1,500 delegates from 69 countries and from 25 States are participating in KTM 2022 as buyers.

Caravan tourism

Kerala’s caravan tourism project that has been branded as ‘Keravan Kerala’, has elicited keen interest from foreign and domestic buyers attending the ongoing 11th edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) - the country’s largest B2B tourism meet that is under way on Willingdon Island near here.

Many of them enquired about the project in detail, including the incentives being offered by the State government. The upfront product would fast-track the State’s post-pandemic tourism revival, by attracting visitors from across the world and other States, they said. Three feature-laden caravans were showcased at the venue.

“In comforts and quality, the caravans presented by Kerala flaunt high standards. These are much more self-contained vehicles than the normal tourist caravans found in Europe,” said Magdalena Lubenova, a delegate from Bulgaria.

Another delagate, Gurmukh Singh from New Delhi, said highly-paid youth will find caravan tourism as an attractive getaway whenever they take a break from their hectic professional life.

Caravan safaris will provide a customised experience to tourists coming to Kerala. This is an ideal way of enjoying the State’s unsurpassed beauty by travelling and staying close to nature, said Baby Mathew, president, of KTM Society, the organisers of the mart. The State Bank of India (SBI) has offered to provide loans to purchase tourist caravans.

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