KOCHI: Kerala made its mark at the two-day International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) at Tel Aviv in Israel, last week. IMTM is the largest annual professional tourism fair of its kind in Eastern Mediterranean and provides tourism trade a platform to meet outbound buyers and suppliers based in Israel. A delegation consisting of Deputy Director of Kerala Tourism Biju B S, and trade partners such as Kerala Voyages, Eastend Hotels and Resorts, Kairali Ayurveda, Eastbound Discoveries and Spiceland Holidays and Fragrant Nature Hotels Resorts attended the meet. The team attended key meetings with trade partners from Israel.
A pavilion on the theme “Human by Nature” was set up by the state. A three-minute tourism campaign film was also launched. Sanjeev Kumar Singla, Indian Ambassador to Israel, visited the state’s stall at the fair.“Kerala participated in IMTM in 2019 for the first time. The exercise was part of our aggressive plans to scout for new markets in West Asia in a bid to substantially increase footfalls from that region,” Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said.
“We participated in this year’s IMTM as well to send a strong message to tourists in Israel and other countries in the Mediterranean region that Kerala has all the trappings of a tourist hotspot,” he added.
Kerala has witnessed an increase in tourist arrivals from Israel. In 2016, a total of 10,927 tourists visited the state from Israel, and the figures rose to 11,892 in 2017 and 15,339 in 2018. Kerala boasts of a strong connection with Israel and has the oldest Jewish settlement In India.