Thiruvanathapuram | Kerala’s iconic cultural expressions, Kalaripayyatu and Kathakali, much loved for their centuries-old artistic creativity and content, captured the imagination of Silicon Valley’s corporate honchos during a ‘Kerala Evening’, organised as part of the state’s tourism promotion efforts, at Palo Alto. The world’s high-technology capital in California, which is home to the world’s top technology companies, revelled in cultural festivities on Thursday as corporate leaders and executives were held spell bound by the pristine beauty of the backwaters and beaches of ‘God’s Own Country’.
Kathakali and Kalaripayattu performers enthralled a packed venue. The event was organised by Kerala Tourism at the Silicon Valley’s Palo Alto, which gave birth to tech giants like Google and Facebook. It is a significant day in the history of our state’s tourism sector, a Kerala Tourism department release, quoting state Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar, said. The United States is a key market for Kerala Tourism. Inbound tourism from America to Kerala has grown about 40 per cent in the past two years, Anilkumar said.
Our first-ever corporate meet in the Silicon Valley is a crucial step towards further increasing those numbers, he added. The executives of several high-tech companies in Silicon Valley attended the corporate meet at the Four Seasons Hotel in East Palo Alto addressed by Kerala Tourism Principal Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao. Tourist arrivals from the US have registered a 39.24 per cent growth in 2012-14. In 2014, number of American tourists who visited Kerala was 76,616 compared to 55,741 in 2011.
The Kerala Tourism event was intended to introduce Kerala as a destination to the companies in the Silicon Valley and also to portray the state as an investor-friendly destination. Apart from the destination promotion, the Principal Secretary also presented on behalf of Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) the various investment opportunities available in the state. Over 50 companies participated in the event attended by the American media. Those who addressed the gathering were Venkatesan Ashok, Consul General of India, San Francisco, and City Council member Catherine Carlton, who spoke on the ‘Kerala Experience’.
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