Keralites make a beeline to Russia with love as bargain rates beckon

 Kerala’s love affair with Soviet literature and its passion for Communist Russiawas famous down the decades.

Published: 05th February 2019 03:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2019 03:26 AM   |  A+A-

Russia flag used for representational purpose.

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Kerala’s love affair with Soviet literature and its passion for Communist Russia was famous down the decades. However, the Russian landscape did not capture the imagination of the Malayali as much as its thoughts did.The things are changing now. According to tourism agencies, there is a newfound craze for Russia among Keralites to visit Russia and the former Soviet Union countries. 

Of late, there has been a three to four-fold increase in people visiting Russia and other USSR countries like Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and others in the last few years. To capitalise on this newfound love for eastern European countries, the travel agencies are offering attractive and competitive offers ranging from `60,000-`75,000 per person for a six night package while five day packages to the Far East including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia are offered at `40,000-60,000 during peak season.

According to Ross Masood Padiyath, chairman, Kerala chapter of Travel Agents Association of India, “If there were only a few hundred tourists to these destinations from the state a few years ago, the number would be near 10,000 now.”

Russia’s liberal visa policy attracting more tourists

There are around 15 registered agencies under the TAAI, and each one of them has been now sending at least 1,000-odd tourists to these destinations during summer. Abraham George, member, National Tourism Advisory Board, says: “These visits are purely sightseeing and not based on any love for communist countries. The iconic places like Red Square in Moscow, St Basil’s Cathedral, Kremlin, St Petersburg and of course epic train rides and vodka-fuelled nightlife in these destinations are the main attractions for the tourists.”  

Earlier, there were strict visa regulations in these countries. Now they have liberalised it to attract more tourists. E M Najeeb, South India regional chairman of IATO, said the rise in outbound tourist traffic would also catalyse inbound as the cultural exchange between these countries will be strengthened with the increase in tourists. According to the tourism officers, as many as 17,820 foreign tourists from Russia alone visited Kerala in the first six months of 2018, whereas it was 16,601 during the same period the previous year, an increase of 7.34 per cent.

Stay up to date on all the latest Kerala news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp