FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Kerala: Up And Comer

Nov 1, 2007
2007 / November 2007

Known around India as “God’s Own Country,” the state of Kerala is a lush locale tucked away in the southwest corner of the Indian peninsula. Surrounded by the Arabian Sea and Western Ghats mountain ranges, Kerala is an idyllic setting for relaxation, business and pleasure.

However, Kerala, composed of 14 districts, is best known for its scenic and diverse landscape. Driving through the city of Thiruvananthapuram (commonly referred to as Trivandrum), the capital of Kerala, sightseers will find themselves surrounded by tiny streets, roaming livestock and constant greenery. Throughout the city and state, pulsing cosmopolitan centers are interspersed with tranquil shores and swaying palm trees. That connection paves the way for the state’s extensive and breathtaking backwater waterway system, which is used for both transportation and tourism.

The state of Kerala is largely agricultural, specializing in cardamom, cashews, coconuts, coffee, ginger, pepper, rubber and tea, the production of which amounts to about 40 percent of the land use throughout the state. Unique to the area is commercial poultry farming, which has become very well developed over the past decades. Perhaps most interesting, Kerala is also well known for applying Ayurvedic principles (a lifestyle philosophy based on the balance of energy) to the development of spa treatments.

With three airports — Trivandrum (TRV), Kochi (COK) and Kozhikode (CCJ) — and multiple train stations, Kerala is a well-placed tourism destination. Its tropical setting and temperate climate appeal to visitors from around the globe and the distance between its major cities, all about two hours by car from one another, is a key drawing card — especially for travelers looking to combine business with pleasure.

While the state’s coastline boasts an unrivaled beauty, tourists and those traveling on business truly get a feel for the heart of Kerala when they venture into the cities where they’ll find street vendors selling popular local foods (don’t miss the bananaand- tapioca chips) and artisans creating beautiful handicrafts from recyclable materials including coconut shells and newspapers.

India has one of the largest populations in the world. Currently estimated at 1.1 billion, it’s increasing at a whopping 1.3 percent every year. With that population growth comes economic growth, as India sees more and more of its population moving away from the agricultural industry and toward the service industry. (A fact clearly demonstrated by India’s dominance as the go-to destination for global outsourcing.) In addition, the country is known for its highly skilled workers, particularly in the fields of software programming and engineering.

India still faces constraints that hinder its drive to a full economic boom. To address that situation, the government has initiated foreign investment incentives designed to capitalize on the state’s assets — strong communications infrastructure, a highly skilled workforce and low operating costs. Incentives include duty-free import of capital goods, office equipment, raw materials and consumables; liberal conditions for foreign equity participation; and corporate income tax exemption for a continuous block of five years during the first eight years of operations. In addition, controls on ownership, planning, managing and profiting from industrial ventures in India are falling by the wayside.

The United States has heavily invested in India, about $5 billion a year, and growing numbers of U.S. business travelers make frequent visits to the country. The state of Kerala has seen an influx of business travelers tied to the development of commercial centers, Technopark and Infopark.

Technopark (http://www.technopark.org), located in Trivandrum, provides jobs for approximately 15,000 area professionals. U.S. companies with a presence in Technopark include Infosys, Ernst & Young and IBS; and more are on the way as t he park proceeds with plans to expand to 300-plus acres, improving on an already extensive infrastructure that includes convention space, meetings facilities and dining venues.

Another rising business center, Infopark (http://www.infoparkkochi.com) is located near the city of Kochi. At about 100 acres, Infopark currently houses 35 companies and is a favored location among start-up ventures. Due to its proximity to Kochi, Kerala’s second largest city, the park is well known among IT investors.

Kerala is expanding both its tourism and business sectors at rates that overshadow some of India’s larger metropolises, including Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Its appeal is vast; offering leisure and business travelers a place to work, kick back and experience India.

Entry Requirements

U.S. citizens must have a visa to enter and exit India for any purpose. Visas can be obtained at any Indian Embassy or Consulate prior to departure.

More Information

Embassy of India 2536 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. Washington, D.C. 20008 tel 202 939 7000 http://www.indianembassy.org

Kerala State IT Mission ICT Campus Vellayambalam Junction Thiruvananthapuram – 695 033 Kerala, India tel 91 471 272 6881 http://keralaitmission.org


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions


Insta Feed
Jun 21, 2024

New Beds and Restaurants in Boise, Idaho

There’s lots going on in Boise, including an impressive selection of new hotels. Stays at The Sparrow will immediately immerse you in a sense of place, thanks to engaging, infographic- style artwork in each of the 67 guestrooms. You’ll find a local coffeehouse in the lobby, a food truck on the outdoor patio overlooking Grove Street, and an outdoor fireplace inviting guests to linger and mingle. Authentic, local experiences include the Brewery of the Month program.

Reconnecting the World: GBTA Convention 2023 Spotlights the Vital Role of Business Travel and In-Person Connection

In an increasingly digital and interconnected world, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention remains an indispensable platform for business travel industry professionals seeking to make the most of the power of face-to-face connections. Taking place August 13–15 in Dallas, the 2023 GBTA Convention provides the unique opportunity for professionals and companies to join visionaries, thought leaders and industry experts for meaningful networking, cutting-edge insights and inspiring innovation.

June 2024
Jun 21, 2024

Saudi Arabia Fosters Sustainable, Regenerative Tourism Along the Red Sea

 My first experience of Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast now seems like ancient history. It was 1995, and I was visiting my ornithologist cousin and is wife. Getting into the kingdom wasn't easy; I needed sponsorship letters. and a pre-trip interview at the Saudi Arabian Embassy. When I arrived in the country, there was no tourist infrastructure. We toured by SUV ad often slept under the stars. Thus, one morning, we woke up on roll-out mattresses on a Red Sea beach 200 miles from Jeddah.

Jun 21, 2024

2 New Concept Bars Opening This Fall in Texas and New York

Add New York City and Austin to your list of bar-hopping cities with the highly-anticipated debuts of Brass Poppy and Bar Sprezzatura.

Tips to Plan a Destination Event Worth the Trip

It's time to shake things up and inject some serious excitement into your next gathering. Whether  planning a corporate conference, black-tie gala or milestone celebration, choosing the right venue can make all the difference. City Winery shares some tips to make your next gathering a rockin' success.

Jun 21, 2024

Virgin Hotels to Open First London Hotel in August

On Aug. 1, Virgin Hotels debuts its first London property. Set to open in the heart of Shoreditch, this hotel will mark the brand’s eighth Virgin Hotels location worldwide and the 17th property for the wider Virgin Hotels Collection.

Jun 19, 2024

Sofitel New York Embarks on Comprehensive Renovation

Sofitel New York recently announced a comprehensive refurbishment project, timed to the Sofitel brand’s 60th anniversary this year. The Manhattan property’s renovation, set to start in late 2024, will reach all facets of the hotel, including the 398 guestrooms and suites, lobby, meeting spaces, elevators, and corridors. Completion of the public areas is anticipated by fall 2025.

Why Buy Trip Cancellation Insurance?

Don’t risk losing all the money you’ve spent if you must cancel your trip at the last minute. Allianz Travel Insurance can give you:

eFlyer Reviews
Jun 18, 2024

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City Review

My husband and I recently enjoyed an overnight getaway at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. The resort is a one-stop shop for an entertaining escape. We packed a lot into our one-night stay, and it left us looking forward to a return visit.