India Travel
More reasons to visit 'God's own' Kerala
May 14, 2007 - 4:58:25 PM

New Delhi, May 14 - A vibrant cultural programme, irresistible scenes of hills, beaches and backwaters, and promotional films showcasing the rejuvenating ayurvedic massage therapy - a road show by Kerala's tourism department here Monday gave one many reasons to visit the southern state.

Kerala, marketed often as 'God's Own Country', recorded a phenomenal 6.2 million domestic tourists and 428,534 international visitors in 2006. The tourism sector has been growing at a steady rate of 23.7 percent.

But in a bid to attract more holiday-goers and to bring the lesser-known places of Kerala into limelight, Kerala Tourism is holding road shows in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Chennai.

Promoting the Malabar region in north Kerala is the department's new initiative.

'Northen Kerala has huge potential that is not yet discovered. It has hills, wildlife sanctuaries and backwaters, which are different from south and central Kerala. So to promote north Kerala we are offering various holiday packages in the area,' said Sanjay Kaul, director of Kerala Tourism.

According to him, five prominent national hotel chains have already started their projects in Malabar.

Offering holiday packages in the lean period, from April to September, is another initiative that aims to make Kerala an all-year-round holiday destination.

'People flock to Kerala in the months between November to February. But what we are trying to do now is to make it an ideal destination all year through,' said Kaul.

Youth oriented tourism is another sector which is being concentrated on. To attract the chunk of Indian travellers, most of whom are young corporate executives, various adventure-filled packages with trekking and white water are up for grabs.

With tourists from Britain, France and Germany already flocking to Kerala, the department is now targeting Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Australia.

Replete with beaches, backwaters, hills, ayurvedic therapies, 14 wildlife sanctuaries and colourful festivals, Kerala sure is a slice of life one can't refuse.

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