INDIA  :   Kerala

Kerala Tourism offers ‘village’ packages to foreigners

Saturday , 27 February 2016

As many as 500 tourism packages have been developed by Kerala Tourism under the brand of ‘Navaratna Experiessential Holidays’, offering tourists local Kerala experiences

Kerala Tourism has come up with a new holiday package for foreign tourists, offering them 99 experiences in nine ‘gem-like’ days.

The packages offer travellers to walk through lush green paddy fields and enjoy bullock-cart rides, as well as take part in interactive sessions about the state’s famous cuisine.

The packages have been named ‘Navaratna Experiessential Holidays’ and offer foreign tourists 500 different tour packages. The offer will also be extended to domestic tourists at a later date.

The new holiday packages were launched by state tourism minister, AP Anil Kumar, and were conceived by the tour operator’s body, Association of Tourism Trade Organisations India (ATTOI).

The packages are aimed at providing a feeling of freshness to foreigners through first-hand experiences of the “real Kerala”, through local interaction and highlighting the unique traditions and lifestyles from the state. They will offer experiences such as an insight onto village life, community interactions and promotion of sustainable tourism practices.

“This is another example of public-private partnership (PPP) in our state’s tourism sector that has been demonstrating to the world, the huge benefits of working together,” said AP Anil Kumar, handing over the first copy of the package to Marianne Hard Af Segarstad, a travel writer from Sweden. He added, “It is not only a product update for Kerala, coming out of the same old repeated itineraries and products, but a step that will rebrand Kerala as a ‘new destination’ and overcome competition from other destinations.”

“Coming out of the comforts of the hotel room and car and taking a plunge into Kerala life is the motto of the new packages.” said state tourism secretary, Jyothilal.

Also included in the package is eating dosas at local restaurants and having filter coffee with a Brahmin family, echoing the tradition of ‘Agraharam’ visits.