Kerala reinvents itself as all-season hub for long stays, customized vacations
With the domestic and international flights resuming their pre-pandemic level, Kerala is set to receive tourists from across the country and abroad offering a bouquet of new experiences and products including caravans, longer stays and customized vacations.
Tourism activities are back in full swing in the time-tested locales of the state like beaches, hill stations, backwaters and houseboats as well to host guests all through the year, and Kerala promises a variety of choices, Kerala Tourism Director V R Krishna Teja, told a press conference here on the sidelines of a partnership meet.
“Our immediate focus is on domestic tourism, in which Gujarat is a key market, as the state has traditionally been a major contributor to Kerala Tourism”, Teja said.
In a major shift from the destination-specific approach, the whole of Kerala is reinventing itself as an ideal place for extended holidays with multiple experiences such as homestays, Drive Holidays, ‘Change of Air’ based wellness vacations and adventure tourism activities, he said.
The travel and tourism industry has evinced keen interest in the new products of Kerala Tourism and a busy year is ahead for the state with a steep increase in footfalls.
For Kerala, 2022 will see a series of absorbing events and festivities like the Kerala Travel Mart in May, Champions’ Boat League (CBL) in August-November and Kochi Muziris Biennale in December-March besides cultural and literary fests and adventure tourism activities, Teja said.
Kerala has a variety of experiences for visitors 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.
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.
A major initiative has also been launched to open up the whole of the state for tourists in a sustainable manner without disturbing the ecology and cultural milieu of the destinations. This project of exploring the unexplored destinations has been integrated with Kerala’s world acclaimed community-centric and heritage-preserving Responsible Tourism movement.
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.
A series of travel trade networking activities, including participation in Trade Fairs, and organisation of B2B Partnership Meets and roadshows have been planned to introduce the new products to a wider audience. The first partnership meet held in the national capital earlier this week had a highly encouraging response from the industry.
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.
The state will also also mark its strong presence in domestic meets like OTM Mumbai, TTF Chennai and South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE), New Delhi, and organise partnership meets in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, as well.