Kerala’s centuries-old Ayurveda heritage proved the main draw for Russian and other East European travelers at the three-day Moscow International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (MITT), the largest and longest-running tourism trade event in that country.
The Kerala Tourism pavilion at the 24th edition of the annual fair – held from March 14-16 at the Expocentre in Moscow – presented a sampling of the array of rejuvenation therapies besides other wellness highlights available in ‘God’s Own Country’.
The stall generated several trade enquiries at MITT 2017, which welcomes both trade and consumer visitors and features specific ‘trade only’ days.
For Kerala Tourism, Russia is the seventh biggest originating market with 32,726 tourist arrivals registered during 2015.
“The diversity of Kerala’s rich Ayurveda tradition continues to be a difference-maker for us at our promotional campaigns around the world. Despite competing claims from emerging markets, tourists and trade operators know our authenticity and mastery of the ancient tradition is unmatched anywhere,” said Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran. “Our participation in such prestigious fairs only helps Kerala take this message out to an ever-wider audience.”
While Goa and Sri Lanka are popular beach destinations for Russian travelers, the large majority prefers Kerala for its relaxing and rejuvenating offerings. Being a big country, travel trends and tourist flows across Russia vary from region to region. They are as eager to return to familiar tried and true destinations and offerings, like Ayurveda, as to explore new frontiers and products, said Dr Venu V., Principal Secretary (Tourism).
“This has been reflected in the large number of enquires attracted by our pavilion, which we expect to translate into vacation bookings over the coming years as the Russian ruble – and concurrently, the outbound tourism market – recovers,” he added.
According to a new survey of Russian households, holidaymakers from the country are back among the big spenders with the total amount they spent over 2016 rising some 40 per cent over the previous year. Another key indicator for increased tourism demand: Russia’s economy is forecast to no longer be in recession in 2017.
“With excellent air and sea connectivity, Kerala is well placed to take advantage of growing in
terest and demand. To maximise returns, Kerala Tourism is planning to hold FAM tours for select tour operators and media-persons from Russia to better spread the message of the state’s healing touch,” said Shri D. Balamurali, Additional Director (General), Kerala Tourism.
The Kerala Tourism delegation was led by Anil V.S, Deputy Director-Marketing. The co-exhibitors of Kerala Tourism were Poovar Island Resort, Kumarakom Lake Resort, Travancore Heritage and Ayurveda Mana.
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