Published on : Tuesday, January 3, 2017
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has named Kerala as a ‘Destination to Watch’ in 2017. ABTA is the U.K.’s largest and the most influential body of travel agents and tour operators. Kerala, known as ‘God’s Own Country’ and ‘true haven for travelers,’ is the only entrant from India on the list of 12 tourist hotspots. The list was featured in ABTA’s Travel Trends Report 2017. Kerala features in the 8th position, much higher than popular destinations like the U.S., Sardinia, South Africa and Vietnam. The report applauds Kerala’s multitude of experiences for travelers and its natural riches, serene beaches, amazing backwaters, misty hill stations, lush forests and exotic wildlife. It also praised its cultural and culinary offerings. Kerala’s Ayurveda therapies also deserved special mention.
A journey through the backwaters in the traditional houseboat has been described as a not-to-be-missed experience, which provides a glimpse of the life of Kerala’s local people, spice plantations and forests. To quote Minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran, “This latest recognition of Kerala’s stature as a must-visit destination is a matter of pride for us and bodes well for the year ahead.” Principal Secretary (Tourism) Venu V said, “This is an excellent start to the year and will add momentum to our ongoing efforts to promote and showcase Kerala around the world. This is especially important in the U.K., which is our primary source market for tourists.” In 2015, Kerala received 1,66,792 tourists from the U.K. which is 17.06% of total foreign tourist arrival to the state.