Will Steffi Help Boost Health Tourism in Kerala?

Kerala Tourism has consistently come up with innovative ideas and campaigns to attract international tourists to the state’s beautiful shores and to highlight its many attractions. The latest is to appoint legendary tennis star Steffi Graf as its brand ambassador. The German star, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, will work specifically to take Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of health care, to the masses around the world.

“The Kerala tourism department was given sanction to sign an agreement with Graf to become Ayurveda brand ambassador as part of the department’s ‘Visit Kerala Scheme’,” said Kerala CM Oommen Chandy last week.
The tourism department had already held discussions and reached an agreement with the former world No. 1 tennis player.

One of the best tennis players ever, Graf ruled the courts in the 1980s and 1990s and was ranked the World No.1 for a record 377 weeks by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). She has won 107 singles titles which places her third on the WTA’s all-time list.


Looking to cash in on Ayurveda’s growing popularity
Famous for its holistic effect on the mind and the body, Ayurveda is increasingly popular among tourists looking for stress relief and relaxation. Many tourists arriving in Kerala check into Ayurveda resorts and spend their time undergoing Ayurveda therapies for long-term health benefits and cure.

The state’s tourism department has always looked at foreign tourists as its primary target and has conducted extensive advertising campaigns abroad. This is obviously another step in the same direction and a master stroke given Steffi’s massive global fan following.

Also, the Germans, particularly those above 50 years of age, have really taken to Ayurveda as a stress buster. They constitute the highest number of foreigners coming to Kerala for Ayurvedic treatment.

Given that Ayurvedic rejuvenation therapies last at least a week or more, this ensures a longer stay of tourists in the state. The multiplier effect this has on tourism revenues can do wonders for the state’s economy.

Visit Kerala 2015
‘Visit Kerala 2015’, a new tourism promotion campaign of Kerala Tourism, was launched last April to strengthen promotion of tourism products including Ayurveda, Responsible Tourism and Spice Route-Muziris.