KTM makes its presence felt in GCC
There are 65 buyers from the Gulf countries attending Kerala Travel Mart
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.
Foreign tourists riding a tuk-tuk at KTM in Kochi on Saturday.