After Antarctica, Kerala travel agency eyes space


Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala Travels has many firsts to its credit. Billed as the first travel agency in Kerala, it was the first to come out with a tourism brochure, offer Antarctica-Arctic packages and now is working on an ambitious plan to send children to space.

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“This is the first stage of space tourism where 30 children would be sent to a space camp at the Singapore Space Centre (SSC) where they would be given a through understanding of space by experts from NASA. Then there would be the next stages that are being planned,” K.C. Chandrahasan, managing director of Kerala Travels, told mediapersons here Friday.

Kerala Travels was founded by Col G.V. Raja of the Travancore royal family along with P.G.C. Pillai and the third generation of the families run the operations now.

Having started out in 1959 in the corridor of the state-run Mascot Hotel here, Kerala Travels now is present in 122 locations in the country and 85 places across the world through its arm Kerala Interserve Travel, which was founded in 1997.

Talking about their space travel plan, Chandrahasan said 30 children in the age group 12 to 18 years would be selected from various parts of the country to be sent to the Singapore Space Centre (SSC) on April 27.

After their stint at Singapore Space Centre, plans will be made to send them to space.

Kerala Travels, which also boasts of hosting The Beatles’ Paul McCartney some years back, was also the first to launch a tour taxi and the now popular Thekkady tiger trail.

But Chandrahasan was candid while saying that Kerala has become a very expensive destination and has to keep into account ‘value for money’ to attract more tourists.

“Today the world tourist is one who wants the best value for his dollar and the need of the hour for those into tourism business in the state is that they should first know Kerala.”