Kerala Tourism taps Moscow, Sweden markets

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 4:16 by Business Editor

With Russia being seen as a market with great potential for growth, Kerala Tourism has made its inaugural entry at the Moscow International Travel and Tourism (MITT) exhibition.

Kerala tourism officials said the need to have an active presence in markets like Russia and Sweden that are showing strong potential. “The global tourism sector is extremely competitive and MITT provides another platform to talk to a new market. We know that 2009 is going to be a tough year for our sector, so we cannot afford to be complacent. It is vital that we continue to build relationships with our customers and develop new ones to ensure that Kerala is top of mind once confidence returns,” according to a top officials.

Kerala’s leading hoteliers namely Thomas Holidays & Resorts, Kadavu Resorts and Somatheeram Ayurvedic Beach Resort will be joining Kerala Tourism to promote the strengths of the destination to Russians and the Swedes. They have already met with several tour operators who showed interest in including Kerala in their product mix including Intravel, IHPL, Intourcentre, India Tour and Transaero Tour.

Further, ayurveda is gaining popularity with Russian outbound tourists and some 9,766 Russians visited Kerala last year, a 47 per cent increase on 2007.

Another new trade show that Kerala Tourism attended was TUR in Sweden, which was held from 19-22 March 2009 in the city of Goteborg. Swedish interest in ayurveda and beach holidays was also apparent at the Kerala Stand at TUR, the largest Scandinavian trade fair for travel and tourism.

Trade partners from Kerala, CGH Earth, Somatheeram Ayurvedic Beach Resort and Pioneer Personalised Holidays participated at the fair.

Despite the current economic crisis, 20,000 visitors visited Keraka Tourism counters during the trade days and 33,000 visited during the weekend when the fair was open to the public, indicating that Swedish interest in travelling remains high. More than 1,900 companies from 103 countries and regions attended the trade fair.

Last year 20,666 Swedish arrivals were registered in Kerala, double that of 2007, making Sweden the fifth largest source market for the State.

Kerala Tourism co-ordinates and participates in a number of international trade shows and events each year to promote Kerala as a premier travel destination. The majority of these trade shows and events are held within key international markets, bringing together the Kerala tourism industry to meet with travel agents and wholesalers from around the world.

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