PA Mohammed Riyas | Photo: Facebook
Thiruvananthapuram: Russia has been an important market for Kerala Tourism and this partnership is bound to strengthen in the post-pandemic era as the state has drawn up ambitious plans to add a lot of unexplored destinations to its tourism map, State Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas said on Thursday.
It is one of the most significant sectors that contribute immensely to the state's economic growth.
The tourism sector alone contributes about Rs 45,000 crore to the State GDP and provides employment to more than 15 lakhs people.
Minister Riyas said this while inaugurating the Indo-Russian Travel and Tourism Fair here.
"As per 2019 figures, more than one lakh Russian tourists visited Kerala.
The fair will definitely strengthen the bond between India and Russia. Kerala is one of the favourite destinations for Russian travellers, said the Minister.
"Kerala Tourism's speedy revival after the pandemic was made possible by exploring unexplored destinations and promoting the established ones globally. The Indo-Russian Travel and Tourism Fair is expected to further strengthen Russia's cooperation in developing the state's tourism, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Consul General of Russia, Southern India, Oleg Avdeev, underlined that by combining various tourist attractions and cultural diversity, Kerala can claim to be a unique tourist destination.
The fair was organised by the Honorary Consulate of the Russian Federation, Thiruvananthapuram, and the Russian House in association with the State Tourism Department and the Russian Embassy.
It is conceived as a platform for B2B discussions between buyers from Russia and sellers from Kerala running hotels, resorts, ayurveda spas, houseboats and tour organisers.