Close on the heels of its successful participation in Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, Kerala Tourism conducted B2B meets in another two key cities of the Middle East — Muscat, capital city of Oman, and Manama, capital and the largest city of Bahrain, in an aggressive bid to bounce back to pre-pandemic numbers in international tourist arrivals.
The business meets were held in Muscat on Tuesday and in Manama on Wednesday with an intended objective to regain confidence in the Middle East, a key tourism market for Kerala, and firmly put the state in the tourists’ itineraries.
The official delegation at these two roadshows was led by KS Srinivas, Principal Secretary, Kerala Tourism, and VR Krishna Teja Mylavarapu, Director, Kerala Tourism.
Amit Narang, Indian Ambassador to Oman, and Piyush Srivastava, Ambassador of India to Bahrain, attended the roadshows in Muscat and Manama, respectively, as chief guest.
Srinivas said the Middle East is a strategic market for Kerala Tourism in terms of tourist arrivals during June-August, which is the summer holiday period there, and the residents travel to cooler climes to escape from the blistering summer heat. “Kerala’s monsoon is an ideal time for the tourists from the Middle East and many of them also opt for the state’s Ayurveda and holistic wellness treatments during this time,” he added.
Noting that Kerala had witnessed a record number of international tourist arrivals in 2019, he said, “Our efforts are now geared towards hitting those numbers again with a string of new products and events.”
Teja gave a presentation on Kerala’s pitch to the Middle East as a ‘Paradise, Four Hours Away’. New products and events such as Keravan Kerala (Caravan Tourism) and Champions Boat League were also showcased.
“B2B marketing will become a key factor, especially in international markets, as unlike in earlier seasons, Kerala will have to start with zero bookings. It thus becomes imperative for Kerala Tourism to accelerate its visibility in the B2B segments and register significant increase in tourist arrivals from overseas,” Teja pointed out.
The B2B meets witnessed enthusiastic and successful interactions between Kerala Tourism trade partners in the private sector and buyers from Muscat and Manama. The trade partners from the state comprised Alhind Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd; Gateway Malabar Holidays; Intersight Tours and Travels; Spiceland Holidays; Ramada by Wyndham, Kochi; Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort (P) Ltd; Vibe Munnar Resorts & Spa; and Kondody Hotels and Resorts.
A ‘Go Kerala’ lucky draw contest was conducted and its two winners are entitled to a seven-7 night-long holiday in Kerala.
For Kerala, international tourist arrivals are key to income generation, employment opportunities and forex earnings. The state received Rs 10,271 crores in foreign exchange in 2019, underlining the vital role of international tourist arrivals to its economy.
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