Kerala, Travel

Kerala tourism charms Chinese tourists

Shanghai Road-show draws top Chinese travel companies, media

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Tourism has hit the streets of Shanghai with a first-ever road-show aimed at attracting high-spending Chinese tourists from the world’s largest outbound tourism market.unnamed (1)

The road-show, which came close on the heels of Kerala Tourism’s first-time participation in the Beijing International Tourism Expo (BITE) 2015 last week, was held on Tuesday with a whopping 70 buyers from the Chinese travel and tourism industry in attendance.

The road-show held at the sprawling Hotel Jinjiang Tower witnessed a huge footfall and a large presence of the mainstream and local Chinese media.

“We were encouraged by the warm welcome China has given us,” said Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar. “The active presence of the Chinese tourism industry leaders and also the media to cover the event shows their interest and eagerness to know more about Kerala,” added the minister.

Naveen Srivastava, Consul General of India in Shanghai, was the Chief Guest of the event where the Kerala delegation was headed by G Kamala Vardhana Rao, Secretary, Kerala Tourism. Praising the foray of Kerala Tourism into the Chinese market, Srivastava also extended the Indian consulate’s support to the state‘s efforts to increase foreign tourist arrivals in the coming years.unnamed (2)

The road show also saw the presence of prominent Chinese travel companies, including Ctrip, HH travel, CYTS Tour Cooperation, Shanghai Eastern Air International Travel Corporation and Shanghai Johnson international travel services.

“The Chinese companies were eager to know more about Kerala, especially Yoga and Ayurveda, which have been gaining international appeal,” said Rao. “The trade partners on both sides expressed their interest in building a strong relationship, which would be helped by easy flight connectivity via Singapore and Sri Lanka and the recently announced e-visa facility,” he added.

Kerala Tourism trade partners were represented in Shanghai by CGH Earth, Dravidian Trails, Eastend Hospitality, Intersight Tours and Travels, Marvel Tours, Poovar Island Resort, Somatheeram Ayurveda Group, Spice Routes Luxury Cruises, Spiceland Holidays, and Thomas Hotels & Resorts.

The Kerala Tourism delegation also had an exclusive meeting with Ctrip, a leading Chinese luxury travel online/offline company, which has 400 million registered travel members, with focus on organising chartered flights to Kerala.

“This is the right time for a new destination like Kerala to enter the Chinese market,” said Edison Chen, Regional Manager, Destination Marketing, Ctrip. “But you need to be well prepared and sustain the campaigns to succeed in the efforts,” he added.

“I had visited Kerala a few years back and fallen in love with it,” said Teresa Zhou, a journalist from the Chinese ‘World Traveller Magazine’.

“Kerala has the potential to be a specialized destination for the up market Chinese tourists, provided enough information, about the destination showing the difference between Kerala and the rest of India, is communicated in a targeted manner,” she added.

“Kerala tourism will try to create a permanent centre in Shanghai in association with the Indian Consulate to help our trade partners, “added Rao.

Kerala Tourism had participated in the three-day BITE 2015, the leading Asian travel and tourism fair, where the tourism department had set up a pavilion themed on backwaters and ‘Kalaripayattu’.

 

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