Yoga Ambassadors arrive in Kerala for the 9-day tour

The first ever yoga tour in the world will commence from tomorrow, 14th June 2018. Yoga masters as ambassoders of their respective countries have started to arrive for the Yoga Ambassadors Tour 2018. The tour is organized by Association of Tourism Trade Organization India (ATTOI), in association with Ministry of Ayush and Kerala Tourism.

More than 60 yoga exponents from 22 countries will be participating in the Yoga Ambassadors Tour, which will conclude on 21st June – The International Yoga Day

ATTOI President P K Aneesh Kumar, along with Treasurer P S Chandrasenan and other office bearers – C S Vinod, Janeesh Jalaluddeen, Sanjeev Kumar, Manu – have welcomed the delegates at the Trivandrum International Airport.

Accommodations have been arranged for the delegates at Kovalam Leela Raviz hotel. Heart-warming greeting was arranged for the delegates by the hotel officials led by Dileep Kumar, Marketing Manager.  Kadhakali presentation was arranged at the reception to entertain the delegates on their arrival.

Yoga Ambassador’s Tour will be inaugurated by Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State, (I/C), Ministry of AYUSH Government of India at 9 am at the Leela Raviz on June 14. Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala, will deliver the keynote address. Shashi Tharoor MP, M Vincent MLA, Ayush Ministry Joint Secretary Ranjith Kumar, Kerala Tourism Secretary Rani George, Kerala Tourism Director P Balakiran IAS, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director, R Rahul, IATO Vice President E M Najeeb, Kerala Travel Mart President Baby Mathew, ATTOI President Anish Kumar P K, and Kerala Tourism Additional Director Jafar Malik will also participate in the inaugural function.

International Yoga Meet will be presided by Mangalore University Yoga Instructor Dr. Krishna Sharma. Dr. B R Sharma of Lonawala Kaivalyadhama will talk about yoga in ancient scriptures. Dr. Yogi Sivan will present ‘Hada Yoga methodology. Dr. Agarval of Mysoor Maharaja Sanscrit Collage will deliver a speech on Yoga in different school of thoughts.

At 2PM a seminar on the subject ‘Science behind Yoga’ will take place. Dr. M V Bhole, Ex- Joint Director of KaivallyaDhama will preside the session. Yogi Jayadevan from Olloor Viswa Yoga Kendra will assist him.

Dr. Naveen K V, Director, FAITHS, Bengaluru will speak about Psycho-neuro-immunology and Yoga, and Dr. Meena Ramanathan, Deputy Director, CYTER, SBV, Pondicherry and Dr. Shivarama Varambally, Professor of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, will speak about Yoga Therapy: Its principles & practices and Yoga & Mental Health – A neuroscientific perspective, respectively. The sessions will be followed by a cultural evening.

On June 15, the yoga Ambassadors will have an excursion tour and an interactive session on yoga at Sivananda Ashram at Neyyar in Trivandrum before they proceed to Kanyakumari. The Yoga Ambassadors will visit Amritapuri (the abode of Mata Amrithanandamayi) on June 16 and head to Alappuzha to experience the much-famed houseboat ride in the backwaters. On the way to Kumarakom, the team will be having a traditional Kerala-style ‘sadya’ in the houseboat. The tour will reach Thekkady on June 17 and will have a hands-on experience in Kalaripayattu, the traditional martial artform of Kerala. After visiting Aranya Nivas on June 18, the team will head to the misty hills of Munnar. Munnar Muniyara dolmens will be visited on June 19, followed by a cultural night and dinner organized by Munnar Destination Makers. On June 20, the team will reach Kochi, where they will experience a sunset cruise in Kochi backwaters.

On the World Yoga Day, (June 21), the team will participate in Mass Drill Yoga early morning at the Kochi Marriott in Edappally and will visit the Mattancherry Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue and Fort Kochi. The team will meet the tourism stakeholders during a networking dinner where the Little chef Kicha will be hounoured. The tour will conclude following a cultural event lead by popular south cine actress and dancer Navya Nair.

Promoting Kerala as a yoga destination

Kerala has been long promoted as an Ayurveda and Wellness destination. However, the possibilities of yoga remain untapped. It is this context that ATTOI proposes the Yoga Ambassador’s Tour to promote Kerala as a global destination for yoga. With Ayurveda and Wellness centres and the lush green locales, Kerala is sure to be the perfect destination for a rejuvenating trip once yoga tourism also comes into picture.

Eyeing 15% growth in 2018

Kerala aims 15% increase in tourist footfalls in the current financial year. Tourist arrivals to the state in the last year saw a growth of 10.94%. The state tourism department is planning to promote Kerala as a 365-day destination. With the launch of LULU Bolgatty Convention Centre in Kochi, the state is also poised to grow as an MICE destination. Domestic tourists are mostly arriving from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal and Delhi. Travellers from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have also started coming to Kerala.