Chinese and Russian tourists make a beeline for Kerala
Apart from the love for communism, the Chinese and Russian tourists seem to have many other reasons to make a trip to God’s own country! There has been a steep rise in the number of tourists from the distant lands of Russia and China to Kerala. The new statistics has given the Kerala Tourism Department enough reasons to explore ways and means to attract more tourists from these countries. However , the language barrier makes the biggest stumbling block for the tourists from these countries.
A major chunk of Russian tourists come from Moscow and St Petersburg and the biggest attraction for these tourists has been ayurveda, which is a unique attraction in Kerala itineraries. Nature trails and beaches too interest these tourists. Figures show that there has been an impressive 24 per cent increase in issuance of visas through the Indian Embassy in Russia during 2011.
Though the tourists are bowled over by the hospitality of the local populace , the pathetic road conditions, traffic snarls and waste management policies prevailing in the State has not gone down well with the tourists. Kerala has to get the priorities right in improving the infrastructure on a war footing to bring in more tourists from the untapped markets around the world.
The Tourism Department has initiated many plans including conducting road shows in these countries to spread the message of the tourism potential of Kerala and to lure more tourists from these countries. There are also plans to explore new markets in Malaysia, Australia and Middle East.