Kochi, Jul 11: With tourism industry flourishing in Kerala, burgeoning Chinese food joints are adding flavour to the state's booming economy.
The traditional Chinese fishing nets in the backwaters of Fort Kochi signify the 500-year-old Chinese trade relations with this coastal region in India. Many Keralities love Chinese food and this led Kerala born, gulf returned businessman Jose Panikulam to come up with a Chinese Restaurant in the heart of Kochi city a few years back.
Another factor prompting Jose into the venture has been the potential and a flourishing tourism track record of Kerala.
Unlike other multi-cuisine restaurants across Kerala, his restaurant dishes out authentic Chinese food with minor customizations that has led to people thronging his outlet.
Jose says that it was a wise choice and he is reaping its benefits as the demand for the Chinese food is fast increasing.
"We have to give the quality food and once they get the taste you know the business will boom which you don't get by marketing but word of mouth. When we started, business was not great, but when people tasted the food and told it to somebody else, the business started picking up and is doing nicely these days," said Jose.
The popularity of the Chinese food specialties has resulted in the opening of eight other joints with the traditional China style interiors and menu in the city. But, the tourists as well locals prefer Jose's outlet for customized Chinese food.
"We have come here once. The food is really good. Rest of the Chinese restaurants, I don't think, have such good food," said Anita John, a resident. The tourism industry in Kerala is a booming and is fuelling Kerala's hospitality industry's unprecedented growth.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has forecast that Kerala will record 11.6 per cent annual growth in tourism during the coming decade, the highest in the world for any tourist destination. By Juhan Samuel