Trivandrum: Kerala’s time-tested Ayurveda and the enchanting backwaters have wooed the British parliamentarians, in a first-time presentation by an Indian State Tourism board at the Westminster.
Kerala Tourism made the presentation about the State for the British MPs, at a special meeting held in the British Parliament complex. The meeting was led by State Chief Secretary, Jiji Thomson and Tourism Secretary, G Kamala Vardhana Rao, who met the British MPs, including many Indian-origin members of the British Parliament.
Jiji and Rao were in the British capital to take part in the ‘Mayor of London’ event to showcase ‘God’s Own Country’ to a British audience. The cultural extravaganza was held at the iconic Trafalgar Square on the same day.
“It was an honour for Kerala to address the British MPs in the parliament complex,” said Jiji. “The MPs evinced great interest in Kerala and admired our top status on the global tourism map.”
Among those present were Shri Virendra Sharma, Indian-born MP of the West London constituency Ealing, Southall, and Stephen Timms, Member of Parliament from the suburban East Ham seat.
“We wanted to directly address the British parliamentarians and tell them why the United Kingdom is the biggest tourism market for Kerala in the world,” added Jiji.
Two years ago, the British royal couple, Prince Charles and wife Camilla Parker Bowles, had visited Kerala, watching Kathakali in Kochi and celebrating the 65th birthday of the Prince of Wales at the backwaters resort of Kumarakom.
Last year, Kerala had received 151,497 travellers from the United Kingdom. Kerala Tourism’s London visit is aimed at increasing the figure substantially during the ‘Visit Kerala’ year.
The presentation by Kerala Tourism in the British Parliament complex assumed significance because of the many Indian-origin politicians elected to the House of Commons. The meeting, held in a Parliament conference hall, was also attended by several prominent members of the large Indian diaspora in Britain.
“The engagement with the British parliamentarians was a major step in elevating our campaign to a much higher level of direct dialogue,” said Rao, who talked to the MPs about the varied destinations and new tourism products offered by Kerala.
Kerala Biz News