Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has been pegged as a 'destination to watch' in 2017 by one of UK's largest and most influential body of travel agents and tour operators.
'God's Own Country' is the only Indian entry on the list of 12 tourist hotspots brought out by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).
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The list, featured in ABTA's 'Travel trends report 2017', has Kerala on the eighth spot, way above premier destinations like the US, South Africa and Vietnam.
The rankings consist of locations that are expected to capture travelers' imagination over the next year. While Andalucia (Spain) tops the list, The Azores, Bermuda, Chile, Croatia and Denmark figure on this list.
"Kerala is known around the world for its authentic tourism products, a commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism practices and for providing diverse experiences to travelers. This latest recognition for Kerala as a must-visit destination is a matter of pride for us and bodes well for the year ahead," said minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran.
Among the not-to-miss experiences mentioned in the report is a journey through the placid backwaters in the traditional houseboat, "as the life of the local people, spice plantations and forests slowly unfold before you."
"Making the list signifies an excellent start to the year and will add momentum to our ongoing efforts to promote and showcase Kerala around the world. This is especially important in the UK, which is our primary source market for tourists," principal secretary (Tourism) V Venu said.
Kerala received 1.66 lakh tourists from the UK in 2015, which accounted for a 17.06 percent of the total foreign tourist arrivals to the state, an official release said.