Kerala makes a strong pitch as an all-season long-stay tourist hub

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In a paradigm shift from one-stop location-specific approach, Kerala has firmly marked itself as a destination for extended holidays for all segments of visitors with a bouquet of diverse experiences stacked across the state like homestays, Drive Holidays, ‘Change of Air’ based wellness vacations and adventure tourism activities, State Tourism Director V R Krishna Teja, told a press conference on the sideline of a partnership meet recently.

The new strategy has boosted stakeholder confidence in Kerala with the travel and hospitality industry sounding confident of a busy year ahead with a steep increase in footfalls.

“For Kerala, 2022 is going to be the year of Kerala Tourism. The year ahead is packed with a hectic schedule of absorbing events and festivities including the Kerala Travel Mart in May, Champions’ Boat League (CBL) in August-November and Kochi Muziris Biennale in December-March besides several cultural and literary fests and adventure tourism activities”, Krishna Teja said.

What is unique about Kerala is that the state has a variety of experiences for tourists like houseboats, caravan stays, jungle lodges, plantation visits, homestays and city life, ayurveda-based wellness solutions, countryside walks and adventure activities including trekking to verdant hills.

Kerala has also launched a major initiative to open up the whole of the state for tourists in a sustainable manner without disturbing the ecology and cultural milieu of the destinations by partnering with the local communities and civic institutions. This project to explore the unexplored destinations across the state has been integrated with Kerala’s world acclaimed heritage-preserving Responsible Tourism movement.

Side by side the new projects, the state’s core assets like beaches, hill stations and houseboat and backwater segment will heighten the totality of the visitors’ experience.

Starting with a Partnership Meet in the national capital, a series of travel trade networking activities, including participation in Trade Fairs, and organizing B2B Partnership Meets and roadshows have been planned to introduce the new products to a wider audience. Various media such as TV, print, radio, digital, OTT and theatres are also being leveraged for this.

With the pandemic-caused international travel restrictions being lifted, Kerala is in a resurgent mode now and the recently launched products will woo travelers from both inside the country and outside, Shri Krishna Teja said.

Major international tourism events where Kerala plans to showcase its strength in the next three months include the 28th International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) at Tel Aviv (Israel) and at BIT Milan (Italy). Also, B2B Meets will be held in Madrid and Milan.

As for the domestic events, it will attend trade fairs like OTM Mumbai, TTF Chennai and South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE), New Delhi, and organize partnership meets in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

The domestic market has always been a key segment in making Kerala’s tourism a throbbing enterprise. In the post-COVID phase also its role will be paramount. It is this belief that forms the essence of our pan-India promotional campaigns, he added.

‘Keravan Kerala’, the state’s caravan tourism initiative, has elicited tremendous response from the industry within a short span of time, emerging as a major product after Kerala Tourism recorded an exponential rise powered by the houseboat cruise some three decades back.

To promote the state as a safe and glamorous honeymoon destination, Kerala Tourism has launched micro video songs to lure honeymooners from India and abroad.

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