Kerala snake boat replicas win WTM London award
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 9 (IANS) Replicas of Kerala’s famed snake boats, showcased at the Kerala Tourism pavilion at the World Travel Market (WTM) 2016 in London, have been adjudged the “Best Stand Feature”.
The three-day event ended late on Wednesday.
The stand featured three vibrant and visually appealing replicas of the snake boats along with images and a video of a “Vallam Kali” (snake boat race) that takes place on the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha, in Kerala.
Spread over 120 square metres, the pavilion wooed curious visitors to take a closer look at the show-pieces.
The judges noted that the snake boats made them “want to go to Kerala just to see that in action”.
“The award and response to our stand is a reflection of Kerala’s stature on the world tourism map,” said State Minister for Tourism A.C. Moideen.
“Tourism remains one of the most important sectors for Kerala and we are keen to develop the potential of the state further by catering to foreign tourists through such prestigious events,” he added.
This edition of WTM featured 5,000 exhibitors from 182 countries.
Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Mahesh Sharma and Union Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi were among those who visited the Kerala Tourism stall.
“The snake boats are synonymous with Kerala and have once again showed why they are a big attraction among visitors to the state from across the world,” said V. Venu, Kerala Tourism Principal Secretary, who led the Kerala delegation besides participating in a roundtable interview chaired by BBC presenter Aaron Hazelhurst to mark WTM Responsible Tourism Day.
Kerala received 1,66,792 tourists from Britain last year, accounting for 17 per cent of the total foreign tourist arrivals to the state.