KOCHI: As the monsoon season in the state is coming to an end this year, the tourist flow to enjoy the rain is diminishing. However, the Arabs are making a beeline for the state to rejuvenate their body through ayurveda treatment.
The monsoon season in Kerala is usually vacation time in the Arab countries and this year the number of Arabs seeking ayurveda treatment has gone up. However, there was a sharp fall in tourists from European countries and North India to the state. Kerala Travel Operators Association president Solly George said that the tour bookings during this monsoon season were less than that of the previous years. There was a sharp decrease of 80 per cent in the arrival of domestic tourists from North India which had badly affected the industry.
“However the arrival of Arabs has increased and they are preferring Ayurveda treatment. Most of the resorts have cut down the price as the service tax has been reduced from 12 per cent to five per cent during the off-season,” Solly George said.
Travel Agents Federation of India (Kerala) chairman, Paulose K Mathew said that there was not much response from North Indian tour operators this season. As cold climate prevails in European countries during the monsoon season here, the arrival of Europeans too are nil.
“Ayurveda treatment was the only attraction during this season. The resort owners are making efforts to showcase their product which have shown some results,” Paulose K Mathew said. E M Najeeb, chairman of Great India Tour Company Pvt Ltd, said that it is high time that the government came out with a slogan of ‘Monsoon Wellness Tourism.’ Now the monsoon tourism focuses only on ayurveda treatment and in this context ayurveda should be given more importance during this off-season.
There is no need for the Europeans to enjoy the monsoon in Kerala as they can have similar experience in their country. Now the Arabs are taking advantage of the facility as the service tax has come down reduced during this time.
“The Arabs want ayurveda treatment along with luxurious hospitality. The luxury component is very important for the Arabs who arrive here for the wellness treatment,” Najeeb said. The Arabs are attracted by the resort-based tourism which provides high quality facilities. More roadshows in Arab countries could attract more tourists during the next season, he added.