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World Trade Organisation hails ‘Spice Route’ revival plan

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on August 04, 2013 Published on August 04, 2013

‘With the recent archaeological evidences excavated from Muziris, the major port of entry to India from the West for spice trade, we have been presented with a historic opportunity to revive Spice Route.’

Kerala Tourism’s proposal to revive the two millennia-old ‘Spice Route’ has received a major boost with the World Tourism Organisation hosting a special session on it.

Suman Billa, Secretary, Kerala Tourism, made a presentation at the three-day international meeting on Silk Road tourism at the northwestern Chinese city of Dunhuang from August 1 to 3.

KERALA HUB

The World Trade Organisation had invited Billa for the meeting in China co-hosted by China National Tourism Administration and the Chinese provincial government of Gangshu.

Billa emphasised the importance of the Spice Route that linked 31 countries in Asia and Europe with India, particularly Kerala, as the major hub.

“With the recent archaeological evidences excavated from Muziris, the major port of entry to India from the West for spice trade, we have been presented with a historic opportunity to revive Spice Route.”

Xu Jing, regional director for Asia and the Pacific, World Trade Organisation, lauded the ‘Kerala model’ of tourism development.

TOURISM INITIATIVE

Xu, along with colleague Zoltan Somogyi, visited Kerala in April this year where they had noted their appreciation for the continuous efforts of Kerala Tourism in providing ‘authentic experience’ to visitors.

“Both senior officials had expressed their interest in spice tourism initiative and reiterated full support on behalf of the trade organisation,” Billa said.

Besides re-establishing Kerala’s maritime trade relations with 31 countries associated with Spice Route, the project seeks to rekindle interest among modern travellers, prompting them to undertake voyages and excursions.

SPICE THEME

In the process, it is believed that there would be a revival of cultural, historical and archaeological exchanges.

“We want to resurrect from history to create and develop a multinational spice-theme route modelled on the Silk Road that formed the bedrock of maritime trade in ancient times involving Kerala and the 31 countries.”

These are Afghanistan, Burma, China, Denmark, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mozambique, Netherlands, Oman, Pakistan, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, UK and Yemen.

Published on August 04, 2013
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