Kerala, which registered an impressive growth of 11 per cent in foreign tourist arrivals and 9.15 per cent in domestic tourist arrivals during the year 2011 despite many odds has always been a favorite tourist destination among local travelers and foreign tourists. As always U. K tourists topped the list, which was closely followed by those from France, Germany, U. S and Australia. The State tourism board is now launching an aggressive promotional campaign to woo more tourists from the Middle East and Arab countries. Some of the programmes planned include road show, media promotion, and hoisting hoardings in both Arabic and English. This is the first time that such a campaign in Gulf countries is being taken up to cash in on the holiday making pattern of the Arabs who prefer holiday destinations in the East rather than American and UK holiday spots.
Kerala has lined up an interesting itinerary that offer something special for everyone . From monsoon packages to ayurveda and house boat cruise, Kerala will offer an eclectic experience. The ‘Dream Season’ package, spanning the entire off-season from May to September, has always been quite popular among the tourists. Apart from rain walks, monsoon spectacles and ayurveda the biggest attraction of this package is the low cost offer where the hotel rates and tourism packages hit the rock.
Another attraction will be the 4th monsoon carnival in Wayanad that will be held from 9-14th July in Wayanad. A joint venture of the district tourism promotion council and Wayanad Tourism Organisation, it is expected to bring in around 500 travel agents from all over the country. The carnival showcases many fun activities and events including a flood water tour, mud football, rain trekking and even a crab catching tour!. The adventure buffs will find the off road adventure rally their cup of tea for sure. The initiatives of the tourism board to forage into the unexplored markets like the Middle East will bring in the much needed impetus to the tourism potential of Kerala in the days ahead.