Kerala Tourism aims to tap state’s Ayurvedic culture to boost tourism
The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) recently launched Ayurbodha at World Travel Mart (WTM) in London, aiming to blend tourism with knowledge of Ayurveda.
World Travel Mart (WTM), a business-to-business (B2B) travel event for the global travel industry is considered as one of the most influential annual travel networking programmes providing a diverse platform to destinations to boost their global reach through meetings, industry networks and unique events.
To increase the list of attractions in Kerala, Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala, inaugurated this unique initiative, Ayurbodha. This gives the tourists a unique opportunity to both enjoy the serene beauty of the state and learn the basics of the ancient medicinal treatment of Ayurveda. Under this initiative, a traveller can stay at any of the KTDC properties across the state and learn about the virtues of Ayurveda. The programme will focus on basic home remedies, diet regimes, Ayurvedic practices for the rejuvenation of body and soul, secrets of pressure points, basics of panchakarma treatment, a mind and body healing experience and use of medicinal plants.
A traveller will learn about Ayurveda’s holistic wellness system and will also be awarded a certificate for the training. The launch was attended by several dignitaries; Dr Venu V, Principal Secretary, Department of Kerala Tourism, Bala Kiran, Director, Department of Kerala Tourism and R. Rahul, Managing Director, KTDC.
“Ayurveda, as a wellness system and a mainstay tourism product, has been largely confined to treatments and massages. While Kerala is known as a destination for spending serene and peaceful holidays, our time-tested tradition of the ancient Ayurveda can enrich every visitor’s experience,” said minister Surendran.
At the launch it was said that this new project will cover the best tourist locations of Kerala, few of them being; Samudra at Kovalam beach, Tea County at Munnar and Bolgatty Island Resort in Kochi. The 15-day Ayurbodha package has been priced at USD 100 per day per person and the location can be based on tourist’s preference.
According to Dr Venu V, this initiative is, “Unique experiential tourism initiative that has enormous potential to increase footfalls in God’s Own Country. It unfolds new vistas of Ayurveda as an enticing tourism offering and will surely appeal to the visitors from both India and abroad,”
Planning the initiative
Kerala’s history of Ayurveda can be traced back to 5000 years ago and has the potential to increase the footfall of Kerala bound tourists.
In May 2017, Kerala Tourism was voted as the Best Destination for Wellness and Spirituality at the Outlook Traveller Awards 2017 under the Reader’s Choice Award category.
Dr Venu hinted on taking this victory forward by exploring Kerala’s wellness heritage, “Kerala tourism department is always keen in implementing new ideas and projects for the growth of Kerala as the best destination and prestigious awards like these are an inspiration to take up new initiatives which will further enhance our projects to provide a best-in-class experience in the future as well.”
Further in June 2017, while inaugurating the second edition of the International Conference on Tourism Technology, Tourism minister, Kadakampally Surendran, had set a goal of doubling domestic tourist arrivals and 50 pc increase in foreign tourists by 2021.
Rahul further commented on the objective of the programme, he said, “The aim of Ayurbodha is to provide tourists with life-changing knowledge of Ayurveda which is not just a medicinal stream but a way of life. It will give the tourist a firsthand knowledge of Ayurveda and a chance to tap into the rich repository of India’s most famous traditional medicinal and wellness system.”