KTM makes its pres­ence felt in GCC

There are 65 buy­ers from the Gulf coun­tries at­tend­ing Ker­ala Travel Mart

The Gulf Today - - ASIA - BY ASHRAF PADANNA

KOCHI: Ker­ala tourism is mak­ing its pres­ence felt in the Gulf, woo­ing trav­ellers in large num­bers with a prom­ise to of­fer the tra­di­tional holis­tic sys­tem of healing most au­then­ti­cally.

The sell­ers rep­re­sent­ing Ayurvedic hos­pi­tals and re­sorts at the on­go­ing Ker­ala Travel Mart (KTM) 2018 vouch for that.

They say they have been wit­ness­ing a huge rise in the num­ber of tourists from the Mid­dle East dur­ing the last ive years.

There are 65 buy­ers from the six GCC coun­tries at­tend­ing the KTM, billed as the largest tourism in­dus­try con­clave in In­dia.

In THE last ive years, THERE HAS been around a 30 per cent in­crease in the ar­rival of tourists from the Mid­dle East, the sell­ers say.

“It hap­pened as a re­sult of mas­sive cam­paigns that we car­ried out in the Gulf,” said Baby Mathew, KTM So­ci­ety pres­i­dent.

“Be­fore that, there were no such cam­paigns.”

Five years ago, Ker­ala or­gan­ised well­ness ex­hi­bi­tions in the Ara­bian Travel Mart. Since then, there has been en­cour­ag­ing re­sults.

“The guests from Ara­bian coun­tries are now com­ing to Ker­ala for long-term treat­ments,” said Mathew, who runs an Ayurveda re­sort in the state’s cap­i­tal Tri­van­drum.

“To­day Ayurveda thrives in Ger­many and Rus­sia ow­ing to the stren­u­ous ef­forts we un­der­took in this re­gard. No doubt, in the com­ing days, Gulf is also go­ing to fol­low their foot­steps.”

Dr Ki­ran B Nair, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Vaidya Health­care, Perum­bavoor, is also up­beat about prospects of vis­i­tors from the oil-rich re­gion.

“It shows that things ARE Deinitely on the brighter side. And most of them ap­proach the Ayurvedic physi­cians as their fam­ily doc­tors,” he said.

Many speak­ers at sem­i­nars on the side­lines of the bi­en­nial buyer-seller meet felt the state should open up more and shed its in­hi­bi­tions about nightlife in tourism des­ti­na­tions.

For­mer Ker­ala Tourism De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion chair­man Che­rian Philip the in­dus­try would die a nat­u­ral death if it failed to re­move the un­nec­es­sary re­stric­tions.

“The ab­sence of nightlife has been a con­stant com­plaint from tourists here. It’s high time we re­moved un­wanted re­stric­tions. The ban on night­clubs is an ex­am­ple,” he said.

Photo/ashraf Padanna

For­eign tourists rid­ing a tuk-tuk at KTM in Kochi on Satur­day.

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