Thiruvanthapuram, February 1: A few days after US President Barack Obama referred to the Kerala backwaters in his public speech in New Delhi, it turned out to be a major attraction at the Spanish Tourism Fair (FITUR 2015) in Madrid, one of the leading tourism trade fairs in Europe. “The huge response from the travel industry and the general public to our backwaters themed pavilion shows how much popular and well known our backwaters are around the world,” Kerala Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar said on Sunday. Over the years, “The Great Backwaters of Kerala” has turned out to be a must–see destition in the world like the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon. The five–day FITUR 2015, which began Wednesday, was attended by a well represented state delegation led by Kerala Tourism Director P.I. Sheik Pareeth.
“We are honoured by the tremendous response to our pavilion. We are confident of attracting more and more travellers from Europe and the rest of the world to our state in the year 2015,” said Pareeth.
The Kerala pavilion was a miniature depiction of the state’s unique attractions which included an image of a ‘chundanvallom’ or ske boat, which is a common sight in the backwaters of Kerala. There was also the replica of an eye–catching wooden bridge with a water body below it, representing the scenic beauty of Kerala’s backwaters. A manual water wheel, which is used to draw water from the fields, was also set up in the stand. The traditiol lanterns hung in the stand were reminiscence of the state’s links with paddy cultivation. Kerala Tourism had received 10,200 tourists from Spain in 2013. (IANS)