Kerala Tourism Eyes East European Market

Organises roadshow in Warsaw


Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 7:  Kerala Tourism has hit the road in the Polish capital of Warsaw making its foray into Eastern Europe, the fastest growing economic region in the whole of the European continent. 

The age-old medicinal tradition of Ayurveda and the pristine beaches of Kerala were the highlights as the state tourism department organised its roadshow in Warsaw on Wednesday, drawing a large number of visitors and representatives from the domestic outbound tourism sector.

"With its vast geography, diverse culture and a fast growing economy, East Europe is a very important market for tourism," said Kerala Tourism Minister Shri A P Anilkumar.

"Poland is today considered Europe's growth champion following its successful economic reforms and building of vital institutions since 1989," he said.

"We are confident that our entry into the outbound tourism market of Poland will be a catalyst for attracting travellers from East Europe," Shri Anilkumar added.

Kerala Tourism Director Shri P I Sheik Pareeth led the state delegation at the Warsaw roadshow held in Mamaison Hotel Le Regina. India's Ambassador to Poland and Lithuania, Shri Ajay Bisaria, was the Chief Guest at the function. 

As many as five trade partners of Kerala Tourism -- CGH Earth, Somatheeram Ayurveda Group, Kairali – The Ayurvedic Healing Village, Pioneer Personalised Holidays, and Lotus Destinations, Sitaram Beach Retreat, The Nattika Beach Ayurveda Resort and The Paul Resorts & Hotels participated in the roadshow.

"We received tremendous response from the travel and tourism trade representatives based in the Polish capital," said Shri Pareeth. "They were all very eager to know about Kerala," he added.

"The trade partners on both ends are confident about conducting business due to the easy flight connectivity, via Dubai and introduction of e-tourist visa facility," Shri Pareeth said.

Poland, which has seen its per capita gross domestic product (GDP) double between 1989 and 2013, was the only European economy that withstood the 2008-9 European financial meltdown. The purchasing power of Polish citizens has grown fast in the period, reaching the level of more than half of their counterparts in the rich West Europe.

Kerala is expected to gain substantially from the Warsaw roadshow as Polish tourists prefer holidays in Asian Countries. The polish travellers are also known for their preference for beach destinations, another advantage for the state, which has several sun-and-sand destinations.

Tourists from Poland also favour traditional healing therapy, making themselves inclined to Kerala's Ayurveda, already a much-preferred medical alternative in West European countries like Germany. 

According to India's Ambassador Shri Bisaria, a "focused marketing campaign" in East Europe will be able to attract more tourists to Kerala from the region. As many as 4,824 Polish tourists had visited Kerala last year.

"Kerala's authentic Ayurveda has more opportunity in Poland," Shri Bisaria said, adding cultural exchanges and organising cultural performances in Poland on important national occasions would help consolidate the goodwill and spreading of awareness gained during the Warsaw roadshow.

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