Kerala Tourism a hit at Finland's travel fair
Posted on Jan 21 2014 | IANS
Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 20 : Kerala Tourism turned out to be a hit at the prestigious MATKA Nordic Travel Fair 2014, held in Helsinki, Finland, Jan 16-19, state tourism officials said Monday.
Unfolding its niche products and bewitching beauty, Kerala pavilion drew keen interest among the steady stream of visitors and trade members drawn from across the globe to the fair, touted as the busiest travel fete in Northern Europe with almost 1,100 exhibitors from 70 countries.
Thanks to the newly-introduced tourist visa-on-arrival (T-VoA) facilities at the Cochin and the Thiruvananthapuram airports, Kerala is now an alluring gateway to the European travellers visiting India.
T-VoA is currently available for citizens of 11 countries - Cambodia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Luxembourg, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
These countries are markets where Kerala Tourism sees vast potential and is beginning to make significant inroads.
"The participation at the fair is providing the right platform for Kerala Tourism to highlight the T-VoA facility to a wider audience at a global stage. We hope that Europe can be the springboard for our future growth in tourist arrivals," said Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar.
Tourism secretary Suman Billa said Finland is a highly prospective market for the state. The tourist arrivals from Finland doubled over the past five years to reach 5,160 in 2012.
Tourism director S. Harikishore said the response was exciting and the state has high hopes this would convert into business in the coming years.