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Kerala scripts an ‘Enter the Dragon’ story in China

Riding on the early success of a high-voltage ‘Visit Kerala’ campaign, Kerala Tourism has embarked on an aggressive drive to tap the vast Chinese market, the highest in the world, to boost foreign tourist arrivals in the state. Leading Chinese outbound tour operators have shown strong interest in Kerala at the Beijing International Tourism Expo (BITE) 2015, which concluded on Sunday in the Chinese capital.

The sprawling Kerala Tourism pavilion themed on backwaters and ‘Kalaripayattu’ was a huge draw among the visitors to BITE, the leading Asian travel and tourism fair. Among the initial visitors to the Kerala Tourism pavilion were Chang Hong, Vice Mayor, Beijing and Wang Xiaofeng, the Vice Chairman of China’s top tourism authority, the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA). Both Chang and Wang jointly inaugurated the Kerala Pavilion with Shri Jiji Thomson, Kerala Chief Secretary, His Excellency Shri Ashik K Kantha, India’s Ambassador to China and Shri G Kamala Vardhana Rao, Kerala Tourism Secretary.

A highlight of the occasion was the invitation from the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), the global tourism body that aims for world peace through tourism, to Kerala Tourism to join WTCF. The state Chief Secretary and Kerala Tourism Secretary met Song Yue, Director General, WTCF who is also the head of Beijing Municipal Commission for Tourism Development.

Kerala Tourism’s trade partners and the state delegation met leading outbound operators in China like the China International Travel Service, HuangJia International Travel Services, China Cyts Outbound Travel Services and Beijing Global Tour International Travel Services. Chinese tourists, who prefer shorter visits, are also known for their activity-oriented holidays.