Thiruvananthapuram: The fascinating boat race, a signature event of Kerala, turned out to be a stellar attraction as Kerala Tourism showcased the mesmerizing grandeur of Gods Own Country at the just concluded FITUR (International Tourism Trade Fair), one of the world's largest tourism and travel fairs.
The sprawling stall of Kerala Tourism at the January 18-22 travel industry fair in the Spanish capital of Madrid had recreated the theme of the boat race, the hugely popular sporting spectacle; and it swept the visitors off their feet. "Our stall drew a huge response from the travel industry and the general public alike. We had fruitful discussions and meetings with the industry partners in Spain. They were quite inquisitive about the boat race, serene backwaters, and the Ayurveda rejuvenation therapies".
"They have agreed to send more tourists to Kerala by including our destinations in the travel packages", said Kerala Tourism Director U V Jose, who led a strong delegation of officials and various tourism stakeholders to the annual fair. Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Union Ministry of Tourism, and D B Venkatesh Varma, Indian Ambassador to Spain, were among the visitors to the Kerala pavilion.
Jose said this was the 13th year on the trot that Kerala Tourism participated in FITUR, which provides a platform for the global tourist industry to promote commercial agreements and hammer out actionable strategies for growth of tourism. Eyeing robust growth in tourist arrivals from European countries, Kerala Tourism has also decided to hold road shows in Lyon (France) on Jan 24 and in Rome (Italy) on Jan 26.
"Spain has emerged as a major tourism market for Brand Kerala. We are confident of attracting tourists in large numbers from Europe and the rest of the world to our state in the current year as well", he added. In recent times, Kerala has witnessed a healthy increase in tourist arrivals from Spain. In 2015, 14,187 tourists arrived in the state, registering a growth of 21.7 percent compared to last year.