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Kerala plans to woo tourists during monsoon
By Ashraf Padanna May 08, 2013
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TRIVANDRUM: Facing stiff competition from Sri Lanka, the state-run Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) is planning to woo tourists in a big way, especially from the Middle East and Russia, during the monsoon season, an official said on Tuesday.

“Our programme called Age Halt, launched last year, has sparked huge interest among the tourists both in India and abroad.

“It is a unique product that seamlessly combines Ayurvedic treatment and travel,” KTDC Managing Director N. Prashant said.

Age Halt programme provides exclusive Ayurveda packages through its properties such as Samudra (Kovalam), Bolgatty Palace, Bolgatty Island Resort and Marina House (Kochi), Tea County (Munnar), Lake Palace and Aranya Nivas (Thekkady) and Periyar House, inside the Periyar Sanctuary.

“Tourists may be confined to one location for 10-15 days while the Ayurvedic treatment is on, forcing them to forego the recreational aspect of travel.

“Age Halt is a combination of both recreation and treatment. A tourist who opts for a rejuvenation package at one place can move to other properties of KTDC without any interruption under continuous medical supervision,” he said.

KTDC has 72 properties, including nine premium ones - claimed to be the largest in the country.

It has tied up with Santhigiri Ashram at some properties for providing Ayurvedic therapy.

The duration of the packages ranges from one to 21 days and the tariff varies from Rs1,900 to Rs192,500.

“People are loving it (Age Halt). This is our USP and no one can replicate it because we have the largest number of properties. Besides, we have the first mover advantage. Also, it is in the government sector that ensures safety, reliability and quality,” said the official.

For KTDC, tourists are coming mostly from Germany, Britain, Russia and France, but it is keen to enter the Gulf countries in a substantial manner with the Ayurveda packages during the southwest monsoon expected to set in over Kerala coasts early next month.

“We had organised special road shows in the Gulf last year, and the Arabs are now coming to Kerala for the treatment of lifestyle diseases. They (Arabs) are tempted by the sight of rainfall.

“If we combine it with the Ayurvedic therapy, it will be a big opportunity for Kerala to leverage its traditional medicine system as a strong wellness quotient during the monsoon,” he noted.

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