Marketing Kerala in Scandinavia

Special Correspondent

The roadshows were held in Oslo, Copenhagen, and Helsinki.

KOCHI: A delegation from Kerala is on tour in Scandinavia with the twin objectives of promoting Kerala as a preferred holiday destination and to increase bilateral trade. Director of Kerala Tourism, M. Sivasankar, leads the delegation of 17 Kerala trade representatives including hoteliers and tour operators.

Scandinavians are enamoured by India’s status as one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Several companies from the region have entered the rising Indian market including around 100 Swedish companies, including ABB and Volvo. More than 35 Norwegian companies are present in India.

In recent years, Denmark has a clear interest in exploiting the opportunities created by India’s impressive growth. Approximately 75 Danish companies are operating in India including some of the market leaders. Some of the big Finnish companies that have operations in India are Nokia, Kone, Sandvik and Wartsila.

According to sources associated with the tour programme, the road shows were held in the first week of November as part of Kerala Tourism’s effort to attract more tourists from the Scandinavia countries, which have been showing a high growth rate in arrivals to the State over the last few years but which still remain largely untapped. In 2008, Sweden showed a 103 per cent growth in tourist arrivals to the State while Denmark showed a 46.3 per cent increase in arrivals over the previous year. Finland and Norway also show a potential for growth for the State.

The first road show kicked off in Oslo, Norway, followed by Copenhagen, Denmark and Helsinki, Finland. A total of 59 major foreign tour operators participated in the Helsinki road show, 56 in the Copenhagen show and 49 in Oslo.

Kerala Tourism is also participating in two consumer events in Stockholm. These include a 10-day ‘ Delicious Kerala’ food festival and 3-day Health and Wellness exhibition, where Kerala’s ayurveda is being showcased. Scandinavia is a growing market for Kerala.

The ‘Delicious Kerala’ food festival will be held till November 15 at four city restaurants in Stockholm.

Swedish diners will also get a chance to win free holidays to Kerala provided by Qatar Airways.

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