Kerala eyes high-spending for Gujarati tourists

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Kerala eyes high-spending for Gujarati tourists
Ahmedabad, Apr 28: With families from Gujarat giving tough competition to foreign tourists to become one of the high-spending tourist category in Kerala, The country has now narrowed down to Gujarat for its Kerala Tourism's Dream Season, a six-month package aimed at domestic tourists, starting April 2010.

"Tourists from Gujarat are right at the top in terms of spending. Our focus, therefore, is on Gujarat," said Kerala Tourism Director M Sivasankar here on Tuesday.

Coupled with an attractive package for the visitors to God's Own Country, the 2010 Dream Season has roped an additional number of tour operators and resorts for the Dream Season extravaganza.

"This is the best season at the best prices," said Sivasankar. "The higher reaches of the state like Munnar and Wayanad offer a comfortable stay during the summer months of April and May. The monsoons start in the first week of June, making it an ideal time for the Ayurveda treatment. The famous Nehru Trophy boat race in Alappuzha and the Onam festival follow the monsoon."

Detailed information on the package can retreived from Kerala Tourism's website (www.keralatourism.org). This years Dream Season offers participation from more tour operators, more homestays, more houseboats, more resorts and more Ayurvedic resorts and it all comes with an attractive prices.

Sivasankar said that infrastructure in the state's hospitality industry has received a boost, compared to 2009.

"More rooms are available, including in five star properties, this year," he said.

Two new five star hotels have come up in Wayanad and Bekal in Kasargode in 2010.

Boosted by tremendous success in 2009, the state tourism sector has main homestay category its focus in 2010.

Mahindra Holidays, which has joined hands Kerala ourism Department to promote homestay, there has been a five-fold growth in this category in 2009.

Encouraged by the 'Dream Season'runaway success in 2009 which was centered on homestay, the state tourism department and the Mahindra Holidays is scheduled to hold a training programme for homestay owners inorder to improve the quality and service by boosting basic housekeeping skills and by creating awareness about safety and hygiene.

The tours operators and resorts too have increased the number of packages. The Ayurvedic resorts have joined 'Dream Season' to offer traditional treatment as the human body responds better to the treatment during the monsoon season.

Infact several resorts would be offering free Ayurvedic massage to their guests.

The Dream Season will eventually turn into highly rated Kerala Travel Mart, which once in two years.

Kochi will host Travel Mart this time during Sep 23 to 26. Kerala, with has achieved success in tourism eeven in the wake of Global economic crisis, has garnered an impressive growth of 16.11pc or 598,929 in foreign tourists arrivals in 2008 and 80,000 in 2009.

Even in terms of domestic tourists, Kerala has registered 7,591,250 domestic tourists holidayed in the state in 2008, which went up to increase of 9,48,309 visitors or a 14pc growth in 2009.

A stark example to its appreciation as the most loved tourists destination, Kerala Tourism, has been termed as 'one of the ten paradises in the world' by the National Geographic Traveller.

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