Kochi: Kerala has emerged as the first choice of global tourists amid a COVID-19 slide as travelers across continents find a cultural experience as rich and engaging, according to foreign travel agents at Kerala Travel Mart (KTM). . ,
Inquiries about Kerala top among all the destinations they have been receiving queries about ever since the pandemic began, reveals foreign travel agency representatives, who were among international buyers in the four-day KTM-2022 which started here on Thursday.
While the Sagar and Samudrika convention centers in Willingdon Island have set the stage for 55,000 business conferences, the foreign delegates said Kerala has always been the most sought-after destination for visitors to India, a KTM release said here.
Zault Jurak, owner of World Travel Master KFT in Hungary, said Kerala is “one of the best parts in all of India” because of its traditional values, ayurvedic wellness, delicious food and warm people.
“I am happy to see that this phenomenon is back after the pandemic and people can travel freely in the state,” said Jurak, who has been to Kerala “many times before” as a tourist.
“In KTM-2022, I am especially looking for some unique and extraordinary things as well as new possibilities and places,” he said at the venue of the event organized by the KTM Society.
Billed as India’s biggest tourism event, it will conclude on 8 May.
Eunsuk Park, an official with Vithas Tour in South Korea, said his compatriots interested in the pilgrimage are keen to visit churches in Kochi.
“Generally, Koreans are interested in pilgrimage programs and such tour packages. They choose Kerala and Chennai for pilgrimage packages, especially Catholic pilgrimage packages to visit Kochi,” she said.
“Its natural beauty makes Kerala a perfect place to relax,” says Park, which has been busy promoting the state’s latest travel products such as caravan tourism.
According to Alexandra Nazimek, owner of Planet Escape, Poland, the serenity of Kerala’s tourist destinations is enhanced by their cultural ambience, making the state particularly attractive to foreign tourists.
He said, “Tourists from all over the world, especially from Europe, love Kerala as their favorite destination. There are more places for tourists to visit and experience here.”
Representatives from 69 countries are participating in KTM-2022 and buyers from 25 states within the country.
Last year, KTM organized a virtual summit in March, which facilitated over 7,000 business meets, which enabled the travel industry to make great strides in overcoming the COVID-triggered economic crisis.
That online event saw virtual buyers meeting with participants from around the world, including India.
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