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Kerala Tourism creates a big pull in the Arab market
Thiruvananthapuram, May 5: The lush green flora and fauna of Kerala, its placid backwaters, breath-taking monsoon downpour, and the Ayurveda-themed pavilion of Kerala Tourism welcomed the Arab travellers at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2015, being held at the Dubai World Trade Center.
The Arabian Travel Market, which was inaugurated yesterday, is a leading travel fair held annually in Dubai, and it provides a great opportunity to network with tourism trade in the Middle ... Read More
Union Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma Launches ‘Visit Kerala’ Campaign
New Delhi, Apr 9: Union Minister of State for Culture, Tourism (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma, today launched ‘Visit Kerala’ 2015-16, a high voltage all-year tourism campaign that promises to present travellers to ‘God’s Own Country’ a lifetime experience of the state’s natural beauty, cultural splendour, culinary traditions and famed hospitality.

“Kerala needs to be promoted across the world,” said Dr Sharma, who promised central assistance to the state to raise the ... Read More
Kerala Tourism Wins Web Ratna Award
New Delhi, March 25: Kerala Tourism was today conferred the national Web Ratna Award for 2014 for exemplary e-governance initiative through the internet.

The Kerala Tourism website (www.keralatourism.org) won the Golden Icon award in the 'Outstanding Content' category of the Web Ratna Awards, instituted by the Union government under the ambit of the National Portal of India.

Kerala Tourism Secretary Shri G Kamala Vardhana Rao received the award from Honourable Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology ... Read More
Kerala looks to tie up with Sri Lanka and Maldives for tourism
(Pic: Tourism secretary G Kamala V Rao with Sri Lankan Minister of Tourism)
Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 11: Kerala is exploring the possibility of creating a new tourism circuit in partnership with Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Tourism Secretary Shri G Kamala Vardhana Rao held discussions regarding this with the Sri Lankan Minister of Tourism and Sports, Shri Navin Dissanayak, at the four-day long ITB Berlin, where Kerala Tourism added another feather to its cap, winning the ... Read More
Tourism 'Oscar' for 'God's Own Country'
Golden Gate Award in Silver Category at ITB-Berlin for Kerala Tourism's The Great Backwaters Television Campaign

Thiruvananthapuram, March 7: Kerala Tourism's hugely popular global multimedia campaign to promote the backwaters has won the prestigious Golden Gate Award at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin (ITB-Berlin) - 2015, the world's leading travel trade event.

The state tourism department bagged the silver prize at the Das Golden Stadttor (Golden Gate) Awards presented in the German capital on Thursday night. ... Read More
Kerala tourism makes a mark at ITB Berlin
(Pic: Deputy Chief of Mission India Embassy Berlin Smt Shubhdarshini Tripathi Joint Secretary -Tourism Government of India Shri Suman Billa)
Thiruvananthapuram, March 5: Kerala Tourism has once again stamped its authority as a leading global holiday destination with an impressive presence at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin (ITB Berlin) - 2015, the world’s largest tourism trade fair that began on Wednesday.

The 128 square meter stand of Kerala Tourism is the biggest among the state tourism boards ... Read More
In South India, a Low-Key and Cheaper Alternative to Goa
By Sarah Khan
The ride was brief, albeit a touch hair-raising. Our vehicle, a rickety auto rickshaw, hurtled down residential lanes emblazoned with Communist-friendly graffiti and lined with houses painted in what appeared to be the official state colors of Kerala: teal, hot pink and tangerine. But the pristine coves of Edava beach near Varkala, a coastal town an hour from Kerala’s capital, Thiruvananthapuram, at the southwestern rim of India, would have been worth far more ... Read More
Pongal with 'Aambala' team
Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated by Tamilians across the world. Traditionally celebrated at the time of harvest, Pongal is a festival of prosperity associated with harvest by thanking the Sun God, rain and the farm animals that have helped in the harvest.
... Read More
Will be back to see the Taj: Michelle Obama
New Delhi: President Barack Obama and Michelle may not have been able to see the Taj Mahal this time but the US First Lady on Tuesday said she will be back in India for a visit to the monument of love.

When asked whether she was disappointed at not being able to see the Taj, Michelle said "I am and I will be back."

Obama and Michelle were scheduled to visit Agra today but the trip was ... Read More
Pongalo Pongal! Tamil Nadu's biggest festival is here!
Over four days all of Tamil Nadu is caught up in celebrating Pongal, the state's harvest festival. From a bonfire to worshipping cattle, it is a throwback to a time when society was agrarian, says A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com.

Pongal, the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu, coincides with Makar Sankranti in north India. It is a non-denominational festival, celebrating as it does the harvest, and marks the first day of the Tamil month of 'Thai'.

The festival extends ... Read More
From the Seashore Football Fields to the World Cup Football Stadiums
Jose Pinto Stephen (josepintostephen@gmail.com)

That was the dream behind the formation of ‘Kovalam Football Club (KFC)’, the first professional Football (Soccer) Club in Trivandrum. In the beginning it was just a dream of an individual (Ebin Rose) and now it turned out into a dream of a community. Ebin Rose is a popular name among the football lovers in Kerala. Ebin had the privilege to represent the Kerala Team for five times (2004-2009) in the Santhosh ... Read More
Kerala Tourism to hold Nishagandhi festival from Jan 20
Some of the biggest names in the world of art and entertainment including sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, singer Kailash Kher, Padmasree Sudha Raghunathan, Suhasini Mani Ratnam, Manju Warrier and dancers Gopika Varma, Krithika Subramanian,Yamini Reddy are among the star-studded lineup of Kerala Tourism’s nine-day long Nishagandhi Festival which begins from January 20, 2015.

Tourism minister AP Anil Kumar recently unveiled the brochure of the annual dance and music festival which will be held from January ... Read More
Welcome to India
By Chandrahas Choudhury
What’s the relationship between the number of tourists who visit a country and its visa policy? Some excellent data on this question will soon become available from India, which last week rolled out a new visa-on-arrival policy for citizens of 43 countries, including the U.S.

The new ruling is a long-awaited and much-needed one. India currently accounts for a measly 0.8 percent of foreign tourist arrivals in the world, or ... Read More
Indian Visa-On-Arrival Expands to More Countries: What You Need to Know
By Shanoor Seervai

Getting into India as a tourist is about to get easier with a new visa-on-arrival program. Pictured, a foreign tourist with an Indian holy man in the northern city of Haridwar. —Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Getting into India as a tourist is about to get easier. The much-awaited visa-on-arrival program is likely to be rolled out Thursday for citizens of 43 countries visiting India as tourists, according to an official at the ... Read More
Kerala Tourism Woos Tourists From Down Under
Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi, Oct 27: Kerala Tourism has conducted two road shows across Australia and made a successful foray into New Zealand, inviting the travel and adventure loving people there to God’s Own Country.

Both nations are fast-growing markets for Kerala Tourism with the number of visitors to the state from Australia up 60% and from New Zealand rising 68% in the past four years.

As many as 102 Australian tour operators took part in the roadshow in ... Read More
Foreign tourists throng Pushkar fair; security reviewed
More than 6,000 foreign tourists have flocked to the famous annual Pushkar fair where security arrangements have been reviewed in view of a call threatening a bomb blast received recently.

Security arrangements were reviewed after an unidentified caller threatened bomb blast at the fair on Saturday.

“Security at the fair is tight and foolproof. Efforts are on to identify the caller,” Additional SP Ajmer Rural Satish Chandra said.

The religious part of the fair began on Monday with ... Read More
Winners of Clint Memorial International Painting Competition Announced
Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi, Oct 25: Children from Bulgaria and Bangladesh are among the top five winners of an international painting competition conducted by Kerala Tourism in memory of the child prodigy Edmund Thomas Clint.
Anujath Sindhu Vinaylal from Thrissur in Kerala won the first prize (see image: Birds-eye view) in the competition and Irtiza Anika Haqe Probonti (see image, boat being launched) of Bangladesh came second. The third prize was shared between Viara Pencheva of Bulgaria, Meenakshi ... Read More
10 unusual temples in India for the unconventional Indian gods
The spiritual land of India has a temple for every God we worship. The list of Gods is endless and so is the count of temples in India. Have you heard of the strange and mysterious temples in India like the one dedicated to a motorcycle? Did you also know that there is also a temple in India where Ravana is worshipped?

The century old temples in India have a rich history behind why they were ... Read More
Elephant Pass Saltern
to Open in November


The Elephant Pass Saltern which was closed for almost 22 years will be reopened by end of November this year.

The clearing of garbage and other material at the saltern began last year and this was made possible due to an advance of Rs 100 million that was granted to the Traditional Industries Ministry under the 'Uthuru Vasanthaya' program. The Elephant Pass Saltern was set up in the early 1950's and produced salt ... Read More
Cochin airport declares 18 per cent dividend
Kochi:Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), India's first greenfield airport under the public-private-partnership model, Friday declared an 18 per cent divided for the last fiscal, one per cent more than what was given during 2011-12.

In a statement here after its board meeting chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, CIAL said it has posted a record profit (after tax) of Rs.124.42 crore during the 2013-14 financial year, 11.68 per cent up over the previous fiscal.

The company's net ... Read More
Lucky to survive, Rajdhani passengers recount horror
Patna: Recounting the fear and shock following the derailment of the Rajdhani Express, passengers of the the New Delhi-Dibrugarh train today said it was a "night to forget".

Rita Nath of Guwahati, who suffered injured on her head and chest in the derailment, said, "All the passengers in the coach had dinner early and went to sleep.

Rescue work in progress after 12 coaches of the Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express derailed near Chapra in Bihar on the wee ... Read More
Kerala 'Great Backwaters' campaign wins tourism 'Oscar'
Thiruvananthapuram, March 8 (IANS) Kerala Tourism has won the top prize, the ITB-Berlin's Golden City Gate Gold Award, dubbed the "Oscar of Tourism Communications", at the world's largest tourism trade show held in Germany.

Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa received the award at a ceremony held Thursday.

In a first, Kerala Tourism won the gold prize for its print campaign titled "The Great Backwaters" launched last year, beating tough competition from major tourism boards of the world.

The ... Read More
Kerala Tourism Mart to be hosted in September
Kochi: The eighth edition of the Kerala Tourism's flagship event, "Kerala Tourism Mart," to be held here in September this year, would see variious events and programmes.

The state tourism department, in partnership with the Kerala Travel Mart Society, hosts this mega event, which brings together the entrepreneurs behind the state's tourism products and services on a single platform.

Kerala's Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar said that the event would be held at Kochi's Samudrika Convention Centre, ... Read More
Kerala Tourism a hit at Finland's travel fair
Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 20 (IANS) 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 ... Read More
Aam Aadmi Party may target Goa casinos

Panaji: It may have been 'bijli' and 'paani' which catapulted the AAP to power in Delhi. In Goa, India's youngest political force may 'gamble' on casinos.

Addressing the first formal press conference after signing up pop star Remo and several leading civil society personalities here, Aam Aadmi Party member Oscar Rebello said issues like proliferation of casinos, narcotics and real estate lobbies would be in the AAP crosshairs.

The AAP would also focus on generic agendas ... Read More
A taste of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is so jam-packed with alluring outdoorsy activities that visitors often high-tail it out of the capital a day or two after arriving, choosing instead to spend their vacation days lounging on a southern beach, whale-watching off the coast or leopard-spotting in a national park. Yet Colombo is fast becoming a draw in itself. This city of 555,000 people has been on fast-forward since a 25-year civil war ended in 2009. Checkpoints have come ... Read More
'There is nothing in the world you cannot find in India'
‘Everything has variety in India. There is no uniformity or one kind.

‘I also love the fact that there are always sensible people here, even when everything around you is collapsing,' says former chief election commissioner JM Lyngdoh, in our special series where well-known Indians tell Rediff.com why they love India.

I love the variety in our land. The people, the culture, the languages, the food, the customs, the geography, the history -- everything has variety. There ... Read More
Top 12 things you must experience in India
As India turns 66, we bring you the top 12 things you absolutely must experience in India.

Our beloved country turns a year older this August 15. As part of a special series, we bring you a list of things you must experience if you haven't already -- from celebrating Christmas in Goa to visiting the Taj Mahal and spending a night in a house boat in Kerala... there is always something to do for everyone ... Read More
Italy proposes promotion of 'wedding tourism' with India

Italy and India can increase tourist footfalls by promoting new trends like 'wedding tourism', which has been a big draw for both the nations, a senior envoy said.

"Between India and Italy, there is a high potential of increasing the number of tourists. There is a strong possibility to increase flow of tourists from respective countries," Daniele Mancini, Italy's Ambassador to India, told reporters here yesterday.

"A number of new avenues have opened up. There is boom ... Read More
Trekking the Har Ki Doon Trail in India's Himalayas

On the trail in northern India, the views may be heart-stopping—but the hiking is not
PEAK PERFORMANCE | Looking toward Swargarohini mountain in the Garhwal Himalayas

THE GRAFFITI SCRAWLED on the bunkhouse exterior struck me as rather impatient. Surely there were worse places to be waiting around than the Garhwal Himalayas, where the peaks of northern India jostle with the mountains of Tibet and Nepal.
Yet among the Sanskrit prayers that had been written on the ... Read More
Dhaka Journal: Five Things to Do in the ‘Concealed’ City
By Tripti Lahiri

Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, may have been named after a local tree or a 16th-century temple. Or the name may come from the Bengali word that means “covered” or “hidden.”

That’s an apt name for a city whose charms, as is often the case with large South Asian cities, are not immediately visible to the naked eye. Not that there are hordes of visitors trying to uncover those charms, although Bangladesh is ... Read More
Would like to be brand ambassador of Kerala: Patki
- Jisha G.Nair

Kottayam: Mesmerized by the beauty of back waters in Kochi, Amruta Patki expressed her great excitement to be in Mollywood. The former Miss Earth Air was in Kochi for a two- day shoot of an upcoming Malayalam movie 'Paisa paisa'.

Amruta Patki, hailing from a middle class Maharashtrian family, bagged the beauty pageant 'Miss India Earth' award in 2006. She was adjudged Miss Earth Air 2006 amongst contestants from 82 countries. She has since ... Read More
Indians largest chunk of tourists to Sri Lanka
R. K. Radhakrishnan

(Picture: A cultural extravaganza by Sri Lanka Tourism campaign in Hyderabad.)

Indian tourists far outnumber those from other countries visiting Sri Lanka. This has again been confirmed after the September 2012 numbers were compiled and put out by the Sri Lanka Tourism.

In September this year, a total of 71, 111 tourists visited Sri Lanka. Of this, 13,888 (19.5 per cent) were Indians. The next largest group, country-wise, was from the United Kingdom, 8,586. ... Read More
Five Reasons to Visit Jaipur
By John Krich

Jaipur can disappoint at first glance. The obligatory first stop on tours of North India's so-called Golden Triangle — and the entry point to Rajasthan's legendary desert — is swathed in dust and modernization's haphazard sprawl. It's easy to lose sight of an Old City created by farsighted 18th century maharajas as the country's first urban grid. And the facades of this so-called Pink City (it was painted as such for a ... Read More
Taj Mahal replica planned in Dubai

A local company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) plans to build a replica of India’s famed Taj Mahal in Dubai, officials said on Wednesday.

Salim al-Musa, the chairman of the multi-purpose development Falconcity of Wonders, said the monument is to be called Taj Arabia and will be similar to the massive mausoleum in Agra but several times bigger.

The structure will also house apartments and shopping malls, including bridal shops, and will be surrounded by Moghul-style ... Read More
Lee to promote Australian tourism in India
According to 'The Daily Telegraph', Lee has been named a "Friend of Australia" under Tourism Australia's advocacy program.

As part the promotion, he would be welcoming over 70 Indian travel agents and take them around the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

The tour operators are here to participate in a six-day India Mega Family and Workshop and are also visiting Sydney and the Hunter Region in NSW, the Gold Coast in Queensland and Perth and Fremantle ... Read More
Travel to Jaipur in double-decker train
New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) Now travelling to Jaipur will be easier, with the Indian Railways Friday starting its second double-decker air conditioned train from Delhi to the Rajasthan capital.

The double decker coaches can carry 120 passengers, up from 78 in the normal ones.

The first AC Double Decker train was introduced between Howrah-Dhanbad in 2011, Railway Minister Mukul Roy said after flagging off the train from Sarai Rohilla station here.

The minister said the AC Double ... Read More
Exploring Galle, Sri Lanka
The sights and scenes in Galle, an ancient town in Sri Lanka that was granted Unesco World Heritage status in the late '80s.

Three years after the end of a brutal, 26-year civil war, those predictions may finally come true. The travel sector already has witnessed a comeback: Compared with 438,000 arrivals in 2008, 1 million tourists are expected to visit this year. By 2016, the government is targeting 2.5 million tourists, hotel industry sources say.

Sri ... Read More
Welcome to Kuttikkanam
Welcome to Kuttikkanam (on the way to Thekkady) - a mystical

village town of dew drops, tea leaves and hill stations. At an altitude

of 3500ft, you can idle away three days in the nadan or continental

food courts, buy hill products, share recipes, tour the sloppy-curvy

tea plantations and laugh to heart’s content viewing the stage

shows,enjoy fireworks...

An opportunity for NRIs (coming to Kerala for holidays but only

to be trapped in the labyrinth of duties and responsibilities) to empty

their ... Read More
Going on Faith

The morning I arrived in Trivandrum, the capital of the south Indian state of Kerala, I met my friend Vinita, a Hindu, who promised to accompany me on a visit to the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, a place that is generally off limits to nonbelievers. Though my family is from Kerala, we are Christians, a community dating back to A.D. 52 with the arrival of St. Thomas on these shores. “Doubting” Thomas converted Brahmins ... Read More
Kerala Tourism to hold first-ever road show in Saudi Arabia
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Tourism is holding its first-ever road show in Saudi Arabia from Sunday in a bid to attract more tourists from the Gulf kingdom to the state, an official statement said Friday.

"Saudi Arabia is the biggest market for outbound tourists in the Gulf region. We want to invite travellers from Saudi Arabia to Kerala," said state Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar in the statement here.

The first road show would be held in Jeddah on ... Read More
Thrissur's Pooram Festival attracts hundreds of devotees, tourists
In this annual festival, caparisoned elephants are the main attraction.

Sharing her views with the media on Tuesday, British tourist Quincott Fray termed the Thrissur Pooram as a beautiful and memorable experience.

"I am really having a marvellous time here seeing your Pooram and seeing these lovely elephants and festivities. You have a really great festival and a lovely city here," said Fray.

Artistes from the various parts of state also entertained the visitors with their performances.

As part ... Read More
Married women celebrate Gangaur Festival in Rajasthan
Gangaur is a significant festival of Jaipur, especially meant for the women. Gangaur festival is widely acclaimed and celebrated throughout the state of Rajasthan. The word Gangaur is derived from two words, 'Gan' and 'Gauri' which are synonyms of 'Siva' and his consort 'Parvati' respectively. The festival of Gangaur starts with the subsequent day of Holi and persists for about 2 weeks. Gangaur is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Gauri, who is considered as ... Read More
Tourism in Kerala
Sarah Zachariah

Kerala has the reputation of being the most beautiful state in India and its slogan, “God’s Own Country”, certainly reflects that! It has been named one of the “ten paradises of the world” by the National Geographic Traveler magazine and is one of the most popular tourism destinations in India. From beautiful backwaters to Ayurveda massages and tea plantations to beaches, it is obvious to see that all this popularity is for a very ... Read More
Brand Kerala shines at Spanish tourism fair
Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 24 (IANS) Visitors were swept off their feet as Kerala Tourism unfolded its mesmerising grandeur at the just-concluded International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) 2012 in Spain, with visitors and trade professionals showing tremendous interest in 'Brand Kerala', an official said here Tuesday.

FITUR 2012 show at Madrid, a meeting point of tourism professionals from all over the world, is considered the second biggest gathering of travel and tourism players with around 13,000 exhibitors ... Read More
Rs. Five Crore for Kottayam Tourism Development Schemes
The Heritage Zone stretch at Thazhathangadi where the new walk will come up as part of the beautification project. Photo: Special Arrangement.

Half a dozen tourism projects are being implemented in the district at a cost of Rs. Five crore, district Tourism Promotion Council this year.

Top on the agenda is the Thazhathangadi Beautification Project, being taken up at a cost of Rs.72.23 lakh. According to Jijo John, secretary DTPC, the project will be implemented ... Read More
Oprah visits the Taj

US talk show queen Oprah Winfrey visited the Taj Mahal Thursday, spending more than an hour while her camera crew captured the 17th century marble marvel from various angles for her new talk show.

She was followed by scores of journalists and camera persons, which made her security a daunting task for her bouncers.

At Vrindavan, she made an unscheduled stop at the Ma Dham widows' home. This caused quite a ruckus between her security personnel ... Read More
Celebrities Toast God’s Own Country in Twitter Chat
(PictureM Meg Matthew with Sarah Luis)

New Delhi, January 18: The chatter in the twitter world is becoming unabashedly flattering in celebration of God’s Own Country.

A host of British celebrities, who were wowed by the exotic destinations of Kerala while holidaying there, have beckoned their followers on the social networking site to visit the state and savour its ethereal beauty.

British actor and fashion czarina Sadie Frost leads the list. “Its bin amazin. spice boat cruise on ... Read More
Turkey wants more tourism, cultural exchanges with India
New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) Stating that India has strong relations with Turkey, Turkish ambassador Burak Akcapar Monday said tourism and cultural exchanges between the two countries need to be boosted.

'Our countries have had strong bilateral relations for a long time but the tourism and cultural exchange between the two countries needs to be boosted,' said Akcapar at an event organised by the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) to announce the Indian Travel ... Read More
Can foreign tourists help US economy?
The 22-year-old Argentine recently dropped more than $5,000 on food, hotels and clothes in Las Vegas during a trip that also took her to Seattle's Space Needle, Disneyland and the San Diego Zoo. But she doubts she will return soon.

“It is a little bit of a headache,'' said Ocampo, a student who waited months to find out whether her tourist visa application would be approved.

More than a decade after the federal government strengthened ... Read More
India looks to Buddhism to boost flagging China tourism
Ananth Krishnan

Eyeing China's fast expanding outbound tourism market, which has, so far, largely bypassed India, the Indian government has launched a tourism campaign targeting the world's fastest-growing Buddhist population with a direct sales pitch: visit India and reconnect with your faith.

Indian officials hope that promoting the ‘Buddhist circuit train' in China, which has been in operation since 2007 and stops along several pilgrimage sites in northern India, can help boost the low numbers of ... Read More
Centre to promote tourism in Ayodhya
Uttar Pradesh, November 7, 2011: The central government has said that it would spend rupees 10 crore for the financial year 2011-12 for promoting religious tourism in Ayodhya, the birth place of Lord Ram.

Union Minster for Tourism Subodh Kant Sahay yesterday said that rupees 5 crore have been sanctioned for development of the city on the basis of proposal submitted by the state government.

He said that the remaining was still pending because the state government ... Read More
Fatima Bhutto vows to return ‘home’
New Delhi, October 22: Kerala’s ‘love affair’ with international celebrities is on an upward swing.

Pakistani writer Fatima Bhutto, renowned Israeli playwright Motti Lerner, and `Israeli writer of the year’ Savyon Liebrecht are the newest additions to the growing fan list of God’s Own Country among top celebrities.

“I felt at home in Kerala. I would like to return,” says Fatima Bhutto, the granddaughter of former Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who visited the ... Read More
Celebrating the life of a centenarian in enchanting Diu
By Ashwin Shingadia and Dorothy Phillips
While Ottawa was freezing at with mid-winter temperatures of minus 20 degrees, we basked in the heat (28 C) of India, swimming in a pool every morning, walking on the beach and meeting people from all over the world at Radhika Hotel in Diu, Gujarat (see photos and website). We were there to celebrate the 100th birthday of my “uncle”, Popatlal Chauhan; combining it with a holdiday. We arrived ... Read More
50 million Indian tourists by 2020?
Bengaluru/New Delhi, March 11: The first-of its-kind tourism intelligence and marketing study conducted by Kerala-based Stark Tourism Associates corroborates United Nations World Tourism Organisation's prediction that outbound tourism from India will touch a whopping 50 million by 2020. More importantly perhaps, it clearly rings alarm bells for current favourites Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia and forecasts the rise of India, besides Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Fiji, Spain and South Africa.

Unveiled at the prestigious India Forum session ... Read More
Kerala Blog Express sets off to explore God’s own Country
Thiruvananthapuram, March 3: Kerala Blog Express 2.0, the second edition of the campaign hosted by the Kerala Tourism to enable some of world’s foremost online travel writers to explore the state, was flagged off by Minister for Health, Family Welfare and Devaswom, Shri V S Sivakumar from the capital city today.

Kerala Blog Express takes selected, ace bloggers from around the world on a two-week road trip across God's Own Country to discover the beauty ... Read More
Foreign tourist arrivals increase by four per cent in Jan 2015
Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) has seen an increase during January 2015 with 7.90 lakh visitors as compared to 7.59 lakh visitors in January 2014. There has been a growth of four per cent in January 2015 over January 2014. Ministry of tourism has compiled a monthly estimates of FTAs on the basis of nationality-wise, port-wise data received from Bureau of Immigration (BOI) and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism on the basis of data available ... Read More
Govt to use 'Spiritual Tourism' to attract visitors
New Delhi: Blending spiritualism with tourism, the government is preparing a new programme to attract tourists, taking a leaf out of Italy and Saudi Arabia which are flocked by huge number of pilgrims every year.

Under the 'Spiritual Tourism' programme, the government has drawn up plans to develop holy places and heritage monuments in different parts of the country to woo tourists.

"If you look at spiritual tourism throughout the world, it is very big. There is ... Read More
Travellers to India must carry certificate clearing them of Ebola
People travelling to India from Ebola-affected countries have been asked to carry a certificate stating that there is no evidence of the deadly virus in their body fluids.

The government advisory came after a person, who was cured of the disease in Liberia, had to be detained at the Delhi airport after his semen tested positive for the virus.

Health Minister JP Nadda told Lok Sabha on Friday that people, who have been treated for Ebola but ... Read More
India Launches e-Visa Facility for 43 Nations
New Delhi: With the launch of electronic visa (e-visa) facility on Thursday, tourists from 43 countries can apply for Indian visa in four simple steps.

The step is aimed at boosting tourism sector and offer hassle-free travel to foreign nationals.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, along with Union Minister of Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma launched the Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) service enabled with electronic travel authorisation (ETA) scheme in New Delhi.

Tourists from countries like ... Read More
A Hike in Bhutan, Kingdom of the Hills

THIN AIR, an upset stomach, aching feet—these are a few of my least favorite things. My wife had pitched my two daughters and me on an “afternoon hike” in the Himalayas. By her telling, it was something any Girl Scout worth her weight in Thin Mints could handle.
Little did we know that we’d be trekking to an altitude of 13,000 feet and camping out in a snowstorm.
My wife, designer Cynthia Rowley, likes to ... Read More
SpiceJet announces 50 pc discount on base fares
New Delhi
In yet another low-fare offer, SpiceJet today announced 50 per cent off on base fares on limited tickets for travel till March next year on sale till Saturday. PTI File Photo

In yet another low-fare offer, SpiceJet today announced 50 per cent off on base fares on limited tickets for travel till March next year on sale till Saturday.

The offer would allow customers avail 50 per cent discount on available fares for travel in two ... Read More
India World's Cheapest Country to Fly: Report

SYDNEY: India tops the list of the the cheapest countries in the world in which to fly, a leading Australian daily reported Friday.

Airfares to India cost just $10.36 per 100 km. It is followed by Malaysia and South Africa, which claim second and third spots respectively, ahead of Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald reported citing a study by travel website GoEuro.com.

By comparison, the most expensive country in the world in which to board a ... Read More
First high-speed train on Delhi-Agra section in November
KAPURTHALA: The first high speed train with a speed of 160 kilometres per hour will run on Delhi-Agra section in November this year as the first rake of fourteen coaches of the train is all set to be rolled out in November.

Shells of the first rake of high speed coaches had been manufactured and work was going on at a fast pace to roll out the first rake by the end of October this year ... Read More
Emirates offers special fares to Indian air passengers
Mumbai: Joining the low fare war with rival Etihad, Gulf carrier Emirates announced a limited period special fares offer for its Indian fliers on Tuesday, starting at Rs 21,858 for economy class and Rs 52,312 for business class fliers to the Middle East, Europe, Americas as well as Africa.

Bookings for the special offer, which comes just ahead the wake of India's Independence Day, commenced from Monday and would remain open until August 10 for travel ... Read More
When in India | Spiritual Healing
While North India has no shortage of ashrams, the recently opened Vana, Malsi Estate, located in Dehradun near the foothills of the Himalayas, is taking wellness to new heights. The 31-year-old physics major-turned-organic farmer Veer Singh has spent nearly five years and $155 million building this tranquil spa retreat, which offers everything from a few days of yoga to three weeks of Ayurvedic healing.
From $515 per person, per night, all-inclusive; vanaretreats.com.
... Read More
Soon to come, 'pub culture' control
Source : PTI
Union Tourism Minister Shripad Naik has said that the pub culture needs to be controlled and that tourism should not be promoted on its basis.

"Pub culture does not suit our country and hence we should try to control it. We should not sell our tourism on pub culture," Naik told PTI today.

His statement attains significance in the backdrop of a recent remark by Goa minister Sudin Dhavalikar who had sought a ban on ... Read More
Tourism industry is doing well: Kerala minister
Thiruvananthapuram, June 19 (IANS) Kerala Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar Thursday said tourism is doing well in the state as this industry is getting investment thick and fast.

This is evident from the preliminary findings of a study done by the tourism department, Anil Kumar told IANS.

"The study is over and the first report shows that in the past three years, the total number of tourism units in the state has jumped from 3,100 units to ... Read More
Two Russians Killed, 10 Injured as Bus Plunges Into River in Uttarakhand
Two Russians Killed, 10 Injured as Bus Plunges Into River in Uttarakhand
Uttarkashi: Two Russian nationals were killed and 10 others injured when the bus they were travelling in fell into Bhagirathi River in Uttarakhand today.

14 passengers were travelling on the bus from Uttarkashi to Gangotri. Two of them are still missing.

The incident occurred at Dharali, around two kilometres from Harshi on the Rishikesh-Gangotri National Highway at around 2 pm today.
... Read More
Goa against offshore casinos
Panaji: The Goa BJP is opposed only to offshore casinos and not onshore ones, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the state assembly Wednesday.

He also said no operational offshore casino would be allowed to function in the Mandovi river off Panaji by 2015.

Parrikar was replying to a query during question hour during the budget session.

"I assure you that by 2015, there will be no operational casino in the Mandovi," he said.

Parrikar said the five offshore casinos ... Read More
31.2% growth in tourist visa on arrival
Radheshyam Jadhav, TNN
PUNE: During the month of October 2013, a total of 1,911 tourist visa on arrival (VoAs) were issued under this scheme as compared to 1,457 VoAs during the month of October 2012, registering a growth of 31.2%.

A growth of 28.5% has been recorded in the number of tourists availing of the tourist visa on arrival ( VoA) scheme during the period January to October, 2013. A total number of 15,770 VoAs have ... Read More
Kerala Tourism workshops
Kerala Tourism will organise two workshops this week (Nov 18) in association with Facebook to explore opportunities in the social media. ‘Travel goes social’ is a special campaign for travel and tourism professionals with a day-long workshop being held here on Wednesday.

The workshop will travel to Kochi the next day where the theme will be ‘Travel and Tourism: Leveraging social media and information technology’.
... Read More
Gujaratis cancel foreign holidays due to rupee fall
AHMEDABAD -- The significant depreciation of the Indian rupee has compelled scores of well-heeled Gujaratis to put off or even cancel their plans for a dream vacation abroad during the 20-day Diwali break beginning next month.

Many of the 50,000-odd footloose Gujaratis who form 40 per cent of the total outbound tourists from the country every year around this time have instead decided to satisfy themselves with a domestic trip to Kerala, Goa or Himachal Pradesh.

What's ... Read More
Gaming commission may monitor Goa's casinos

Panaji, July 17 (IANS) The unshackled run of Goa's casino industry for more than a decade could just come to an end next month. It had to take a death to bring this about.

According to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, a gaming commission to regulate operations of both onshore and offshore casinos will ensure that the gambling operations play by the rules defined by the state and not by the 'house', a term conventionally used to ... Read More
Kerala tourism - a record arrival
Kerala tourism has again consolidated its position in the tourism sector by attracting a record 1.07 crore domestic tourists and 7.03 lakh foreign tourists to the sate during 2012. The total revenue both direct and indirect from the tourism taken touched 21125 crore in 2012 compared to Rs 19037 crore in 2011.
... Read More
Goa bans drinking alcohol on beaches

Panaji: Goa government has banned drinking liquor on beaches in a bid to curb littering and nuisance caused to women tourists.

However, one can continue to enjoy drinks at designated places like beach shacks, Goa Tourism Director Nikhil Desai told PTI.

"The ban has been imposed under Goa Tourist Places (Protection and Maintenance) Act which gives the right to the state government to ban things which create nuisance in the tourism zones. The act envisages to protect ... Read More
UN Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva has hailed Kerala’s model of Responsible Tourism with ecofriendliness and inclusive as its main stay.

The meeting was attended by experts, policy makers and departments from the developing and developed nations as well as representatives of international organizations and civil society. Delegates from carribean and African countries showed interest to replicate RT model in their countries. Kerala has become a model for Tourism Development for the entire India ... Read More
Union Minister of state for Human Resource Development Shasi Tharoor will soon don the role of a quiz master to promote tourism in God’s own Country. The career diplomat turned politician represents Thiruvanthapuram constituency in the Lok sabha .The online video quiz for Kerala Tourism will kick off in May and go on for two months, contestants from any part of the world can join the show. The questions will be on kerala’s ... Read More
Kerala Tourism responsible tourism model at Kumarakam linking local community to the hospitality industry has won the national award for the best rural tourism project.
Kerala also bagged honors in three other categories at the National Tourism Awards for 2011-2012. Launched in 2008, kerala Tourism’s pioneering responsible tourism model in Kumarakam forged partnerships with Kudumbashree to sell fruits and vegetables to tourists in kiosks.run by its units and with hotels and restaurants in the area to ... Read More

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