Kochi: The first-ever travel and tourism expo 'Manorama Voyager' organised by Malayala Manorama comes to a close on Sunday. More than 2,500 travel buffs visited the three-day event which is the first to promote tourism on a large scale since the Kerala floods. The state's tourism sector overcame the August deluge within weeks of a minor setback.
'Manorama Voyager', being held at the Taj Gateway Hotel, features stalls by leading travel and tourism agencies and resorts which offered special packages and discounts. An eye-catching contest gives a chance for a three-day family stay at a luxury resort in Munnar. To participate, all one has to do is register themselves at the venue. The winners shall be chosen through a lucky draw.
The event hosted interactive sessions by travel writers and bloggers from across the country who spoke about their experiences while on tour. Travel writer Anjali Thomas and Incredible India tourism manager Sadhya Haridas were among the speakers. Travelling couple Gautam and Tara will share their experiences on Sunday.
The expo is a convenient platform to gather and compare travel information. It also helps to clear doubts regarding ways to holiday and arrange accommodation as well to know about the right places to travel alone and with family.
Most of the packages focus on the holiday spirit of Christmas and new year by offering travel deals for 2019. International packages to Sri Lanka, Dubai, Thailand and Europe gained the most enquiries. Some stalls even offered attractive discounts on spot bookings.
At the expo, the Indian Railways is promoting super deals, including all inclusive packages to multiple international destinations.
Tickets for Kerala's first cruise vessel 'Nefertiti' which will hold a New Year sail on December 30 are also on sale. “We have already received 60 bookings so far. We will have grand Christmas and new year celebrations with DJ music, dance and games,” said a representative of 'There Holidays'. An AC restaurant for 70 people and a bar launch are arranged on this Egyptian-themed cruise.
Campper.com, which arranges standardised campsites on private lands, too has appealing offers. Those who register on campper.com during the expo will get a Rs 1,000 camp voucher. Besides, three people winning a lucky draw will get free camp vouchers.
Visitors to the fair can also book tickets for the 'Christmas Carnival at Wonderla, Kochi, from December 22 to 30. Other travel attractions include those on resorts, farm tourism, amusement parks etc. Cox and Kings offers a lucky draw where two people would be chosen at the spot for a free trip to Thailand.
The expo also brings special offers for group and pilgrim tours along with mega travel deals.
Other attractions include a painting competition for children and adults, prizes for which include travel packages by Malabar Tours and Travels and cash prize by Malayala Manorama.
A food court has also been set up, where a variety of culinary delights like tapioca and fish curry, pothi biryani, chakka payasam, chakka varatty, chakka chips, Kashmiri rice, pasta and more are available.