THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala’s responsible tourism (RT) initiatives and products are expected to be highlighted at this year’s World Travel Market (WTM) London, as the state tourism secretary is among the panellists at the travel fair, Times of India reports.
Besides, India being the official premier partner of this edition of the world’s prestigious travel fair, Kerala Tourism, will be capitalising on better visibility in branding and programming.
“There are two sessions on RT this time, which would give ample opportunity for Kerala Tourism to present its products,” said tourism secretary, Dr Venu V.Also, the event marks 20 years of RT and 10 years of World Responsible Tourism Day observances.
To be held from November 7 to 9, the travel fair will have at least eight participants from Kerala to showcase products related to ayurveda, leisure and culture.
According to organizers, the WTM’s RT programme would explore how well the travel industry has embraced responsible tourism, celebrate best practices and analyse whether the concept has come of age after 20 years, while also attempting to predict what the industry would look like in 2036.
Announcing India Tourism as its premier partner early in July, the WTM had listed the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur), Rajasthan, Goa, Kerala, Kashmir and North East as country’s popular destinations.
Among the participants from Kerala are Intersight Tours and Travels, Marvel Tours, Pioneer Travels, Kumarakom Lake Resort, Xanbari Resorts, Punarnava Ayurveda Retreat Centre, Punnamada Resorts and Spice Land Holders.
“Participation is crucial as it’s the first WTM after Brexit, the impact of which is yet to get reflected in the tourism industry here,” said Abraham George, the chairman of Intersight.
Kerala, still can focus more on the UK market, Abraham who is also the president of Kerala Travel Mart, pointed out. “Looking at the upcoming season, the situation is not that bad, but has improved a little as the bookings reveal. Though we will have to wait for another couple of years to know gauge the Brexit effect on tourism, we might still be able to get valuable feedback in this regard from WTM,” he added.
Meanwhile, listing ayurveda, leisure and culture products of Kerala, WTM website has termed the ‘spice-rich land’ a rare blend of myth and history.”Blessed with a rich bounty of natural attractions, Kerala’s serene beaches, enchanting backwaters, mist-clad hill stations, lush green forests and exotic wildlife offer a multitude of experiences to tourists,” it says. Kerala, according to the WTM, London, is the only place in the world where ayurveda is practised to perfection.