Kochi: This season's first chartered flight from Australia will arrive here Saturday with the Tourism department all set to accord a rousing welcome to the visitors, a month after unprecedented rains swamped Kerala.
The flight, with 60 tourists on board, will land at Nedumbassery International Airport at 6 pm, according to a department release here.
The tourists will be welcomed through a reception that would include 'Panchavadyam' (orchestra of five percussion instruments).
Tourism department director P Bala Kiran said the flight's arrival would send out a definitive message that the tourism sector in Kerala is all geared up to welcome visitors.
"It will also help remove the perception that the influx of tourists is dwindling in the state," he said.
The passengers belong to a tourist group in Australia named 'Captain Group.'
Kerala Tourism has been working towards promoting the state as an overall tourism destination, Tourism department secretary Rani George said.
“At this point, Kerala Tourism needs a lot of backing to tell the world that the tourism industry is still going strong. And the arrival of this season's first chartered flight will certainly send out that message,” she said.
On Sunday, the tourists will visit Fort Kochi and Mattanchery, the two prominent tourist destinations here.
After that, 20 tourists will head to a private farm near Angamaly for a cooking demo class displaying Kerala cuisine.
On Monday, the tourists will make a trip to Alappuzha on a houseboat to get a feel of cruising in the backwaters.
They will leave Tuesday for Goa.
The group would also visit Udaipur, Jodhpur, Varanasi, and Kolkata before returning.