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Yoga Ambassadors Tour kick starts to explore Kerala
  • June 2018
Yoga Ambassador Tour, a specialised  familiarisation trip for established yoga practitioners from around the world to have a first-hand experience of Kerala, which is organized by the Association of Tourism Trade Organisations, India (ATTOI) in association with Kerala Tourism and Ministry of Ayush, Government  of India has inaugurated by  Mr. Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (IC), Ministry of Ayush, Government of India by lighting the traditional lamp at Leela Raviz  Kovalam. 

Mr. Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Kerala presided over the function. Ms. Rani George IAS, Secretary- Kerala Tourism, Mr. P. Balakiran IAS, Director- Kerala Tourism, Mr. R. Rahul IRS, MD, KTDC, Mr. E.M. Najeeb, President, Confederation of Kerala Tourism Industry (CKTI) & Sr. Vice President, IATO, Ms. Rajashree Ajith, Director, KITTS, Mr. Baby Mathew Somatheeram, President, Kerala Travel Mart Society, Mr. Sajev Kurup, President, Kerala Ayurveda Promotion Society and Mr. M.R. Narayanan, Secretary General, CKTI were also present in the inaugural function. Mr. P.K. Anish Kumar, President of ATTOI welcomed the gathering and Mr. Sreekumara Menon, Secretary, ATTOI proposed vote of thanks. 

More than 60 leading specialized Yoga Tour operators from 32 countries are participating in this unique 10 day educational tour of Kerala as part of “Yoga Ambassador Tour”. The tour progarmme will showcase the varied product ranges of Kerala along with various yoga based activities. The tour will be coming to an end on 21st JUN’18 which eventually is the International Yoga Day, and the delegates would also be getting a chance to participate in mass yoga drill at Marriot Hotel Kochi. 

Mr. Bala Kiran IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism said, “ Kerala have already positioned as the ‘land of Ayurveda’ and the best place to experience authentic Ayurveda in the global wellness market and now Kerala is planning to promote the State as a dedicated yoga destination, with the support of Tour operators and Travel trade associations like ATTOI. We intend to position the State as a dedicated yoga destination and develop a yoga circuit linking yoga and meditation centers, ashrams, and tourist destinations.

According to Mr. P.K. Anish Kumar, President, ATTOI, “Kerala is promoted and positioned as one of the best places to rejuvenate mind, body and soul, through Ayurveda and Yoga in the recent past and ATTOI with the support of the other tourism industry stakeholders plan to combine the demand from wellness travellers  for yoga, meditation, and health tourism in the future.  The Yoga Ambassadors Tour will provide a holistic experience to these ambassadors who in turn will help project Kerala as a perfect place to practise yoga while travelling. 

According to a senior official of Kerala Tourism, the government is eyeing the twin objectives of establishing a yoga circuit in the state and familiarising the international audience about the state’s potential in health and wellness tourism. Kerala Tourism has appointed Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society as the nodal agency to coordinate the event with ATTOI. Ayush Ministry has already sanctioned an outlay of Rs 72.25 Lakhs for smooth conduct of the programme. This is first time in the history of India Tourism; Ayush Ministry has sanctioned this much of amount for a tourism promotion programme in India. ATTOI team has made all the arrangement to make the Yoga Ambassadors Tour a grand success. Tourism industry from Kerala have extended their whole hearted support to oragnise the event and many leading hoteliers in Kovalam, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Munnar and Kochi has provided the rooms and breakfast on complimentary basis, while tourism industry associations have offered dinner and lunch as part of the promotional strategy of each destination. 
 
After the inaugural session, a technical session on “Philosophical Foundations of Yoga”, chaired by Prof. V. Purandara Reddy, Dean, Faculty of Darsanas, Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Tirupati were conducted for the participating delegates and invitees. Dr. Krishna Sharma, Professor, Department of Yoga, Mangalore University was the co chairman of the session. Dr. B.R. Sharma, Kaivalyadhama, Lonavla presented a paper on “Yoga in ancient scriptures”, Yogi Shivan, a prominent Teacher, Healer, Yoga Exponent, INDIMASY (yoga Village) Trivandrum on Hatha Yoga Parampara and Dr. Alwar, Professor of Nyaya, Maharaja Sanskrit College, Mysore on Yoga in Darshanas were also participated in the first session.  

Dr. M.V. Bhole, Former Jt. Director (Research), Kaivalyadhama chaired the second technical session on “  Science Behind Yoga” and Yogi Jayadevan, Universal Yoga Consciousness, Ollur, Kerala co chaired the session. The speakers on various topics includes Dr. Naveen K.V., Director, FAITHS, Bengaluru on  “Psycho-neuro-immunology and Yoga”,  Dr Meena Ramanathan, Deputy Director, CYTER, SBV, Pondicherry on  Yoga Therapy: Its principles & practices and  Dr. Shivarama Varambally, Professor of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru on Yoga for Mental Health- A neuro scientific perspective. 

On June 15 the delegates will visit the Sivananda Ashram at Neyyar Dam in Trivandrum for an excursion tour and interactive session on yoga. After a short visit to Amritapuri Ashram Vallikavu, Kollam on June 16th  they will move to Alappuzha to board Houseboat for an unforgettable trip through the canals of Kerala Backwaters towards Kumarakom for night halt.On day 5th on  June 17, the team will proceed  Thekkady-a land full of spice plantations and South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary called Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary .On June 18th, the Yoga Ambassadors will reach Munnar and enjoy the beauty of “Kashmir of South India”,  situated at around 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) above mean sea level, in the Western Ghats mountain range.  On June 19thmorning after the Common Yoga Protocol, they will visit Muniyara Dolmens and Meditation. The Muniyara Dolmens are magnificent prehistoric dolmens, situated in Chinnakanal. Belongs to the Neolithic Age, these aboveground burial chambers are built with large stone slabs and are called ‘megaliths.’ The historians keep special interest in these granite slabs as they are more than thousand years old. A lot of anthropologists and archaeologists from all over the world visit this fascinating destination to explore the remnants of Dolmenoid cists belonging to the Megalithic age. At Munnar, they will also visit Lock Heart Tea Estate and Srishti NGO. On June 20th they will depart to Kochi after the morning Common Yoga Protocol and all the delegates will spent next two days in Kochi 
 
On the penultimate day, June 21st, also the International Yoga Day, all the visiting Yoga Ambassadors will  participate the Mass Drill Yoga drill at Hotel Marriot, Kochi.  

















TourismIndia,India's Travel&Tourism Magazine, Kerala, India.

 
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