Lush green flora, placid backwaters, monsoon downpour and Ayurveda were the main themes of the Kerala Tourism pavilion which welcomed visitors at the Arabian Travel Market 2015, being held at the Dubai World Trade Center.
The four-day annual event that began provides a great opportunity to network with the tourism trade in the Middle East.
Kerala Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar said Saudi Arabia was the main market, followed by the UAE, Oman and Kuwait for tourists to the southern Indian state from the Middle East.
“In 2014, there were 48,346 tourists from Saudi Arabia, 17,475 from the UAE and 17,239 from Oman, who visited Kerala. From the Middle East alone, we had more than one lakh visitors,” he said.
A Kathakali performance by two artistes from Kerala captivated the audience at the inaugural function.
Kerala Tourism secretary G. Kamala Vardhana Rao said the Middle East was “like a second home to many Malayalees” and there was a “great opportunity to network with the tourism trade” there.