Kerala Tourism participated in the recently concluded 22nd Moscow International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (MITT) and it came as no surprise that Ayurveda was the show stealer at the Kerala pavilion. Both the public and local industries evinced keen interest in the ancient Indian healthcare system and among women looking for alternative healthcare systems, Ayurveda seems to be the winner.
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MITT is the largest tourism fair in Russia, attracting tens of thousands of visitors every year, nearly three-fourth of them from the travel and trade industry. With more than 2,000 exhibitors from 203 countries taking part in the four-day event, Kerala’s participation with its focus on Ayurveda along with its ‘sun and sand’ tourism is a major boost to the healthcare system.
“Ayurveda is becoming increasingly popular in key markets like Moscow, St Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg (the fourth largest city in Russia), especially among the health-conscious female audience,” said P S Raghavan, India’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation. With preferences of travellers constantly evolving and changing, Russian tourists to Kerala today are looking beyond the obvious beaches, backwaters, hill stations and plantations and Ayurveda is turning into the hottest offering from Kerala for those wanting more from God’s Own Country. And historically, the friendship between Russia and Kerala goes a long way, harking back to days of the Soviet Socialistic Republic.
Ayurveda was introduced to the Russians during the 1990s during the age of globalization and it has come a long way in the Russians’ perception, from where it used to be a mere cosmetic alternative to a sought after medical system with proven results. Several delegations have also visited Kerala to study the system in depth and they have carried back positive answers, which has converted quite a few seeking alternative practices to this ancient system.
Several tour operators have expressed keen interest in signing up agreements on Ayurveda packages at several Ayurvedic centers and resorts to provide getaways for Russians looking for relaxation and rejuvenation on their holidays. And with the full fledged support promised by the Indian Embassy in Moscow, Kerala Tourism and Ayurveda in its wake can look forward to a fruitful interaction with the Russians!