4 Dec : An innovative package to market Kerala’s traditional ceremonial wedding abroad in a bid to woo tourists has run into rough weather as the tourism industry in the God’s Own Country, already reeling under global recession, has been badly hit by the Mumbai terror attack.
According to P K Anish Kumar, Managing Director of Travel Planners, which had launched the package, they have already got at least four cancellations from UK tourists.
Some tourists have not confirmed their plans after enquiries. "No new enquries are coming," he said.Earlier, they were getting about 20 to 25 enquiries a day, which has now dwindled to just about two, he said.
The bookings are for January-February, the peak tourist season. "The coming year is going to be a disaster", he said.During 2007-08, Travel Planners had 2,500 bookings. If the hotels slash prices, some tourists could get attracted, he says.
The latest set back has come at a time when the Travel Planners were trying to woo tourists with the ‘Wedding Package’, promising a typical traditional Kerala wedding in a temple or in a place of the guests choice.
The package includes dressed girls with lamps in their hands to receive guests, ritual arrangements necessary for a marriage, traditional bedroom arrangements, lunch and a dinner party for guests.
The food is served on banana leaves. The company also arranges a traditional host marriage treat from a local family, prepares special wedding garlands and a tailor dress make up for groom and Kerala sari for the bride.
They were hoping to do well this year when the disaster struck in the form of recession and now the Mumbai blasts.