Kochi: Kerala has become the top choice of global tourists amid a COVID-19 slide, as travelers from all continents find the southern Indian state rich and alluring as a cultural experience, according to foreign travel agents Kerala Travel Mart (KTM).
Inquiries about Kerala top all destinations they have received questions about since the pandemic started to wane, reveal delegates from foreign travel agencies, who are among the international buyers at KTM-2022 of four days which started here on Thursday.
As the Sagara and Samudrika convention centers on Willingdon Island set the stage for 55,000 business meetings, foreign delegates said Kerala is consistently the most sought-after destination for those visiting India, according to a release from KTM here.
Zsolt Jurak, owner of World Travel Master KFT in Hungary, said Kerala is “one of the best regions in all of India” due to its traditional values, Ayurvedic wellness, tasty food and warm people.
“I am happy to see that the event is back after the pandemic and people can travel freely in the state,” said Jurak, who has been to Kerala “several times earlier” as a tourist. .
“At KTM-2022, I’m specifically looking for new possibilities and places, and some unique and extraordinary things,” he added at the KTM Society event venue.
Considered India’s biggest tourist event, it will end on May 8.
Eunsook Park, head of Withus Tour in South Korea, said his compatriots, who are interested in pilgrimage, want to visit churches in Kochi.
“Normally, Koreans are interested in pilgrimage programs and such packages. They choose Kerala and Chennai for pilgrimage packages, especially Catholic pilgrimage package to visit Kochi,” she pointed out.
“Its natural beauty makes Kerala a place to relax,” adds Park, who 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 vibe, which makes the state particularly attractive to foreign tourists.
“Tourists from all over the world, especially from Europe, prefer Kerala as their favorite destination. There are even more places for tourists to explore and discover here,” she added.
KTM-2022 brings together delegates from 69 countries and has buyers from 25 states across the country.
Last year, KTM hosted a virtual summit in March, facilitating more than 7,000 business meetings that saw the travel industry make major strides in overcoming the economic crisis triggered by COVID. This online event saw a virtual meet-and-greet of buyers with attendees from around the world, including India.