27 Mar 2009, ET Bureau
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala tourism, which benefits significantly from foreign tourists from the UK and Germany, is exploring the possibility of markets like Sweden and Russia.
Towards this end, the state tourism brand marked its debut participation at the Moscow International Travel and Tourism exhibition earlier this month. Kerala tourism secretary V Venu said Russia was a market with strong potential for growth and that MITT provided another platform to address a new market.
He said 2009 would be tough year for the tourism sector and the state could not be complacent, adding that it was vital for Kerala tourism to continue to build relationships with customers and develop new ones to ensure that the brand was top-of-the-mind once confidence returned.
Recent statistics show ayurveda to be growing in popularity among Russians. Over 9,700 Russians are estimated to have visited Kerala last year, for a 47% growth over 2007.
Kerala tourism officials who attended the Scandinavian trade fair TUR, said Sweden also held good prospects for Kerala tourism, with specific Swedish interest being seen in the state’s ayurveda and beach holidays. In 2008, over 20,000 Swedish arrivals were recorded in Kerala, signifying a 100% growth in arrivals over the previous year.