Kerala targets tourists from Sweden, RussiaMarch 26th, 2009 - 8:37 pm ICT by IANS
Thiruvananthapuram, March 26 (IANS) Kerala is targeting Russian and Swedish tourists to beat the downturn feared this year, the government said Thursday.
According to a press release issued here by the state tourism department, the state’s tourism department participated at the Moscow International Travel and Tourism (MITT) exhibition from March 18-21 - and showcased Kerala’s beaches, backwaters and houseboats - key attractions for tourists.
“We need to have an active presence in markets that are showing strong potential. Russia is a market that has strong potential,” said Kerala Tourism Secretary V. Venu.
“We know that 2009 is going to be a tough year for our sector, so we cannot afford to be complacent. It is vital that we continue to build relationships with our customers and develop new ones to ensure that Kerala is top of mind once confidence returns,” Venu said.
The state is also pinning its hopes on ayurveda to attract Russian tourists, as this ancient Indian form of medicine is gaining popularity in that country, he said, adding over 9,700 Russians visited Kerala last year, a 47 percent increase from that registered in 2007.
“Another new trade show that we attended was TUR Travel Exhibition in Sweden, which was held from March 19-22 in Goteborg. Swedish interest in ayurveda and beach holidays was also apparent at the Kerala stall at TUR,” added Venu.
Last year, more than 20,000 Swedish tourists visited Kerala.
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