The sound of incessant rain and cascading waters, the sight of various shades of green laced by sparkling drops and the overflowing rivers lure tourists from far and near. Monsoon tourism is catching up in Kochi, more with domestic takers.
“There is a flow of domestic tourists, mainly from the north. Frequent flight cancellation due to inclement weather puts off foreigners, but some have managed to make it to witness Kerala’s own monsoon,” says Charlie, who manages Carnival Tours in Fort Kochi.
Tourists seem to be enjoying the beauty of the rain. “I travel both for work and for fun. Our guide has taken care of everything very well. I know the boathouse stay is difficult during the monsoon but they managed to keep up. I’ve been relishing the best of Indian food,“ says Marina, a tourist from Australia.
“I am actually on a world tour and landed up here for the monsoon season. It’s beyond words - great and thrilling. There’s plenty of greenery here and the boathouse was wonderful. I have been to the Kerala Kathakali Centre, it was pretty good, I am looking forward to other cultural performances,” says a tourist from Colombia.
“My wife and I have never been to Kerala. As we were in Goa for a trip, we planned to visit Kochi. It’s such a wonderful place in monsoon, we love the weather. We would love to come here again,” says Gyan a tourist from Delhi.
The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation is trying to promote monsoon in a big way.
“We cover almost all the areas as per the tour package. It’s difficult to stay in a boathouse during the monsoon, but we make arrangements for the tourists. We have introduced new tour packages at lesser rates. Tourists are also interested in watching cultural performances like kathakali and we have made arrangements to showcase them. Monsoon is also an ideal time for rejuvenation therapies and an attraction for tourists and we combine travel and ayurvedic treatment. The package is already drawing an increasing number of tourists. The other main attraction of Kochi is the boat ride to all the islands through the backwaters. The most beautiful of all is Bolghatty built by the Dutch, which has now converted into a hotel run by us,” says I G Chandrababu, manager, KTDC, Kochi.
Play football in the rain
Shoot the Rain - the soccer tournament festival - conducted by Tourism Professionals Club, for the travel and hospitality industry in the state will be held on July 6 and 7 at the Parade Ground, Fort Kochi. It will be inaugurated by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs K V Thomas. The event is supported by the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala. This popular event has been a part of the monsoon tourism promotion for the past seven years. There are over 24 teams representing major hotels, tour operators, and the Thekkady Destination Promotion Council that will be fighting it out to win the ‘Joseph Dominic Memorial Ever Rolling Trophy’, sponsored by the CGH Earth Group.
“This year the response has been overwhelming” said George Scaria, president, Tourism Professionals’ Club. So did secretary Vineesh Vaidya.
The technical guidance for the soccer festival will be provided by legends like Rufus D’Souza and T A Jaffer. Thomas Varghese is the general convener of the event. The media coordinator Ravi Varma said, “We are expecting heavy rain this year during the event and rain is the major attraction which makes the event a great success.”
The participating teams are Tourism Professionals Club-Monsoon, TPC Thunder, TPC Storm, Le Meridien Hotel, Brunton Boat Yard, Dream Hotel, Leela Kovalam, Mermaid Hotel, Riviera Suites, Casino Hotel, Gokulam Park , Trident Hotel, Malabar House, Tourism Professionals Club-Thunder, Desadan Group of hotels, Spice Village, Coconut Lagoon, Zuri Resorts and Spa, Kumarakom, Marari Beach Resort, Ramada Lake Resort, Eastend Hospitality, Abad Hotels, Abia Tours, TDPC, Thekkady, Nature Destination Tours and Pioneer Travels.
Exclusive stalls highlighting Responsible Tourism, Kerala Tourism and other major hotels and resorts in Kerala will be put up.
For details, contact Ravi Varma at 09446332600.