Kerala to hold diaspora meet to promote tourism

October 21st, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 21 (IANS) The Kerala government Tuesday announced that it will hold a global meet of its diaspora Dec 23-24 this year in Kochi to promote tourism.The meet, ‘Entee Naadu: A meeting of the Kerala Diaspora’, would be jointly organised by the state tourism and industry departments, and around 500 representatives of diaspora organisations based in different countries would attend the event.

Addressing a joint press conference here, Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem inaugurated a website,, through which people can register for the meet.

“We will showcase around 10 projects for joint ventures with these NRKs (non-resident Keralites) at the meet. Interested NRKs can invest in these projects, which are basically building resorts and hotels at the land owned by the state government,” Balakrishnan said.

Kareem has said another project that could be unveiled at the meet is that the houses of these NRKs, if they remain locked, could be converted into homestays.

“This is a novel concept and the homes would be taken care by those who are running the homestays and this would mean additional revenue for the owners,” Kareem said.

Balakrishnan said he would take up the diaspora meet with the NRK representatives while visiting Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne and the US later this month.

“In Singapore, I will meet with the tourism minister (of that country) and at other places, I will attend international tourism conventions, basically to promote Kerala tourism,” he said.

“Also I would seek the support of the NRK organisations in those countries to make the December meeting a success with maximum participation,” Balakrishnan added.

Kerala now has more than two million of its people settled abroad, with close to 90 percent of them working in the Middle East. Over the years, the remittances made by them have kept the state economy afloat.

Last fiscal Kerala received Rs.245.25 billion in remittance which is about 20 percent of the state’s net state domestic product and 30 percent more than the state’s annual receipts.

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