Kerala to hold 'gratitude rides' ahead of travel mart

Pookode Lake
C K Saseendran, MLA, will flag off a 'gratitude ride' from Pookode lake on Friday in the presence of sub collector Umesh NSK.

Kalpetta: The Kerala Tourism Department is conducting 'gratitude rides' as a precursor to the Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) from Friday as the state government aims to attract the tourists back to the flood-hit land.

KTM 2018, the tenth edition of the Kerala Travel Mart, will be held from September 27 to 30 in Kochi. More than 2,000 tour operators are expected to attend the event with which the state intends to show the world that the land is safe to hold global events.

Ahead of the big event, similar campaigns have been arranged in Wayanad district to attract domestic tourists, especially from Mysuru, Ooty and Coimbatore.

C K Saseendran, MLA, will flag off a 'gratitude ride' from Pookode lake on Friday in the presence of sub collector Umesh NSK. Twenty-five riders will travel from Pookode lake to tourist destinations in the district and Mysuru, Ooty and Coimbatore and return on September 23.

“The campaign is titled 'gratitude ride' since it is a gesture to express our gratitude to our neighbouring states that helped us rebuild our land following the floods. During the ride, the two stop-overs are in Mysuru and Coimabtore. The riders will meet the tour operators and interact with them about the situation in the state. Instead of us making big claims about the safe conditions in the state, we are inviting the tourists to experience for themselves,” says District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) secretary B Anand.

Ten out of 14 top tourist destinations under the DTPC were closed due to flood and high intensity rain last month. Post flood, except Kandanpara waterfalls, all the destinations are open. The safety handrails on the walkway at Kandanpara which were destroyed in the floods are yet to be reconstructed. The DTPC expects the works to be finished by October first week.

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