Kerala sees promise in Israel for its tourism

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on February 15, 2019

Makes its presence felt at International Mediterranean Tourism Market

For the first time in its history, Kerala Tourism participated in the International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) in Tel Aviv, making a strong pitch to draw the largely untapped Israeli market, West Asia and forge durable bonds with its tourism sector.

Tourism Director P Bala Kiran led the State delegation at the two-day IMTM 2019, the largest annual professional tourism fair of its kind in the Eastern Mediterranean and the official and only professional exhibition for the tourism trade market in Israel.

Jewish connection

Kerala Tourism launched a sleek and glossy coffee-table book, a first-of-its-kind visual odyssey of the Jews who decided to make Kerala their home before many of them decided to head to Israel.

Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said it was an extremely successful outing for the State tourism. “In the highly competitive global marketplace, we need to scout for new source markets to attract tourists. Our participation in a prestigious event such as IMTM will act as a trigger to meet that objective,” he said.

The Minister said there is a direct flight from Tel Aviv, the second most populous city in Israel, to Delhi and Mumbai. From September a direct flightby Arkia Israeli Airlinies will link Tel Aviv to Kochi giving a major boost to tourism in India and Kerala in particular.

New frontiers

Tourism Secretary Rani George said participation in IMTM was part of an aggressive campaign to woo visitors from non-traditional markets.

“Forging strong ties with Israel’s tourism segment will open new vistas of expansion for Kerala Tourism in that region,” she noted.

In 2018, over 15,300 Israeli tourists visited Kerala, a 29 per cent increase over that in 2017 There has been a 15 per cent increase intourist arrivals from Israel during 2013-18.

Bala Kiran said the visit yielded extremely positive outcomes. “We held a series of discussions with various stakeholders of Israel’s tourism and hospitality industry, and it would pave the way for two-way visits.” he said.

Published on February 15, 2019

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