Kerala Tourism scripts an ‘Enter the Dragon’ story in China


Trivandrum: Riding on the early success of a high-voltage ‘Visit Kerala’ campaign, Kerala Tourism has embarked on an aggressive drive to tap the vast Chinese market, the highest in the world, to boost foreign tourist arrivals in the State.

Leading Chinese outbound tour operators have shown strong interest in Kerala at the Beijing International Tourism Expo (BITE) 2015, which concluded on Sunday in the Chinese capital. The sprawling Kerala Tourism pavilion themed on backwaters and ‘Kalaripayattu’ was a huge draw among the visitors to BITE, the leading Asian travel and tourism fair.

“We are encouraged by the tremendous response from the Chinese tourism industry,” said Kerala Tourism Minister, Shri A P Anilkumar. “Considering that it was the first ever participation of Kerala Tourism in BITE, it gives us a lot of confidence for the future.”

Among the initial visitors to the Kerala Tourism pavilion were Beijing Vice Mayor, Chang Hong and Wang Xiaofeng, the Vice Chairman of China’s top tourism authority, the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA). Both of them jointly inaugurated the Kerala Pavilion with Kerala Chief Secretary, Jiji Thomson, India’s Ambassador to China, Ashik K Kantha, and Kerala Tourism Secretary, G Kamala Vardhana Rao.

The first day of Kerala Tourism at BITE showed a flurry of trade meetings between State government officials and senior leaders of Chinese tourism industry. Kerala Tourism’s trade partners participated in BITE 2015 also held meetings with their Chinese counterparts in an interaction aimed at establishing a firm collaborative partnership with each other. Along with its trade partners from the state, Kerala Tourism is organising a road show in Shanghai today.

A highlight of the occasion was the invitation from the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), the global tourism body that aims for world peace through tourism, to Kerala Tourism to join WTCF.

Kerala Tourism’s trade partners and the state delegation met leading outbound operators in China like the China International Travel Service, HuangJia International Travel Services, China Cyts Outbound Travel Services and Beijing Global Tour International Travel Services.

Trade partners of Kerala Tourism attending the BITE 2015 are Dravidian Trails, Intersight Tours, Marvel Tours, Spice Land Holidays, CGH Earth, Thomas Hotels and Resorts, Poovar Island Resort, Somatheram Ayurveda Group and Spice Route Luxury Cruises.

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