Kerala qualified to be premium tourism hub of India: Governor

Arif Mohammed Khan | File photo: PTI

Kochi: Kerala is eminently qualified to become the premium experiential tourism hub of India and for that there needs to be a meaningful engagement with other states of India during the post-COVID recovery period, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said on Thursday.

The Governor was speaking at the inauguration of the 11th edition of the Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) which is the country's biggest tourism event, according to a release by the KTM Society.

Inaugurating the four-day event which will conclude on May 8, Khan, according to the release, said, "A meaningful engagement among the Indian states is very important for sustainable and inclusive development of tourism. This is the right time to further strengthen the cooperation and coordination among the states in the tourism sector for the benefit of everyone.”

He also said during the prolonged restriction on international flights due to the pandemic, Kerala benefited from domestic tourism and therefore, the southern state needs to retain its warm ties with other states for the travel industry to flourish further.

He further said tourism, apart from being an economic activity, was a cultural experience also that transcends borders.

Besides that, Kerala has ensured a healthy government-industry collaboration being conscious of the need for a robust partnership in reviving tourism, he said according to the release.

"In fact, the state has set a successful model on how a rewarding partnership between the administration and the travel and hospitality industry could lead to a win-win situation," he said at the event which is set to host around 55,000 business meets on May 6, 7 and 8.

The Governor, according to the release, also hailed the government for preserving the state's "invaluable legacy of natural beauty" even while coming out with a set of new products and projects to meet the demands of a post-COVID world.

He pointed out that the government has launched various initiatives like farm tourism, caravans, adventure packages and cultural destinations which bring together Kerala's natural beauty, fascinating history and well-preserved heritage, the release said.

In this context, Khan highlighted the government's recent efforts to boost the travel industry in lesser-tapped north Kerala such as Malabar River Cruise Project and the Beypore Water Fest, it said.

The state is also ensuring that the Ayurveda-reliant institutions are run professionally, thus keeping up the reputation of Kerala as a wellness destination, he said, according to the release.

"Kerala is eminently qualified to become the premium experiential tourism hub of India," the Governor added.

Exhibitions on key tourism themes will be a major attraction of the mart being organised as a public-private partnership, the release said.

It also said caravan and adventure tourism were some of the key attractions of KTM-2022, which will have delegates from 69 countries, besides buyers from 25 states within the country.

On the last day -- May 8 -- of the event, the public will get access to the pavilions at Sagara and Samudrika convention centres in Willingdon Island for five hours from 1 pm, the release said. PTI

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