Ker­ala to ex­hibit the un­ex­plored

Ker­ala’s tourism depart­ment will soon launch a pro­mo­tional cam­paign for the Euro­pean and North Amer­i­can mar­kets to show­case North­ern Ker­ala, which in­cludes un­ex­plored des­ti­na­tions like Kozhikode, Wayanad, Bekal and Kan­nur and Malap­pu­ram. P. Bala Ki­ran, IA

TravTalk - India - - STATES - HAZEL JAIN

QHow is Ker­ala pro­mot­ing it­self in the

Ker­ala Tourism has planned sev­eral B2B meets across high-po­ten­tial in­ter­na­tional mar­kets such as the UK, France, Spain, Ger­many, Rus­sia, West Asia, China, Ja­pan, North Amer­ica and Aus­tralia. As part of the am­bi­tious pro­mo­tional cam­paign for the on­go­ing fi­nan­cial year 2017-18, Ker­ala Tourism has planned 24 road­shows and 12 trade fairs with an es­ti­mated cost of around Rs 11.5 crore. The Depart­ment has cho­sen in­ter­na­tional mar­kets for the trade events af­ter analysing tourist ar­rivals over the last five years. The depart­ment will soon launch a mega pro­mo­tional cam­paign for the Euro­pean and North Amer­i­can mar­kets to show­case di­ver­si­fied prod­ucts of Ker­ala, con­duct road­shows and travel fairs.

QAre you de­vel­op­ing Yes, we are im­ple­ment­ing a de­tailed mar­ket­ing plan for new mar­kets like Oman, Saudi Ara­bia, the UAE, Malaysia and Singapore. Af­ter ink­ing an agree­ment with SilkAir for the South-East Asian mar­kets, the depart­ment is now eye­ing a sim­i­lar tie-up with Jet Air­ways and Eti­had Air­ways so as to gain a good foothold in the West Asia mar­ket.

Mid­dle East is one of the high-po­ten­tial mar­kets for Ker­ala. We re­cently launched ‘Yalla Ker­ala’ (‘Let’s Go Ker­ala’ in Ara­bic) cam­paign tar­get­ing tourists in Saudi Ara­bia, the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. The Tourism Depart­ment of Ker­ala aims to in­crease in­ter­na­tional tourist ar­rivals by 13 per cent ev­ery year. The ob­jec­tive is to dou­ble the for­eign ar­rivals by 2021.

QWhat des­ti­na­tions do you want to pro­mote

We have been ex­ten­sively fo­cus­ing on pro­mot­ing North­ern Ker­ala, which in­cludes un­ex­plored des­ti­na­tions like Kozhikode, Wayanad, Bekal, Kan­nur and Malap­pu­ram.

QW

PPP projects have al­ways played an in­stru­men­tal role as one of the key strate­gies for pro­mot­ing state tourism. The tourism depart­ment truly un­der­stands the sig­nif­i­cance of PPP model for over­all growth of the tourism sec­tor. We be­lieve in be­ing a pro­moter of the in­dus­try, rather than a reg­u­la­tor. The state has been fol­low­ing ro­bust in­fras­truc­tural devel­op­ment plans through re­spon­si­ble and sus­tained tourism.

We have Ker­ala’s first BOT (build, op­er­ate, trans­fer) model, eco-tourism project un­der the PPP model called ‘Jatayu Earth's Cen­ter’. It is spread over 65 acres at Jatayu­para in Kol­lam dis­trict and will be open for tourists by end of 2017. It will be the world’s largest bird sculp­ture of the myth­i­cal bird Jatayu (200 feet long, 70 feet in height, 15,000 square feet floor area).

More­over, Ker­ala Tourism has planned to con­nect the ports of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode with cruise ships. Based on the PPP model, this joint en­deav­our of a tourism board and a Dubai-based pri­vate in­vestor will re­sult in com­mis­sion­ing a 130-seater cruise ship which could travel at a speed of 30 knots. In ad­di­tion to that, Ker­ala Tourism has been tak­ing con­sid­er­able steps to­wards en­cour­ag­ing PPP par­tic­i­pa­tion, in­clud­ing fast-track clear­ance for tourism projects and res­i­den­tial tar­iff for home-stays.

QH in­vest­ing in up­grad­ing

With the aim to in­crease the ge­o­graph­i­cal spread of ar­rivals to the state, Ker­ala Tourism plans to pro­mote its Mal­abar re­gion ag­gres­sively through a Rs 325 crore project, which in­cludes un­ex­plored des­ti­na­tions such as Kozhikode, Wayanand, Bekal and Kan­nur.

To pro­mote river cruises, the Gov­ern­ment of Ker­ala has en­vi­sioned a Rs 300-crore project for nine rivers in Kan­nur and Kasaragod. In or­der to ease travel for in­ter­na­tional tourists, Cochin In­ter­na­tional Air­port has been en­trusted to ex­e­cute the cruise tourism project by form­ing a Spe­cial Pur­pose Ve­hi­cle.

In ad­di­tion, the state gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to de­velop a few ad­ven­ture parks. The gov­ern­ment has al­lo­cated Rs 45 crore for Prasadam project un­der the Cen­tral scheme and Rs 120 crore un­der its Green Car­pet scheme for Alap­puzha, En­ran­jil, Ney­yar and Then­mala. This ini­tia­tive is aimed at build­ing a sus­tain­able des­ti­na­tion man­age­ment sys­tem in Ker­ala through par­tic­i­pa­tion and part­ner­ships. The state gov­ern­ment also plans to de­velop 10 eco-tourism cir­cuits to con­nect var­i­ous forests in or­der to pro­mote green tourism.

QW

With the prime fo­cus on pro­mot­ing ad­ven­ture tourism, the depart­ment has been work­ing closely with the State For­est Depart­ment. The joint en­deav­our will re­sult

Mid­dle East is one of the high-po­ten­tial mar­kets P. Bala Ki­ran IAS, Di­rec­tor Depart­ment of Tourism, Gov­ern­ment of Ker­ala

in the growth of ad­ven­ture tourism with­out af­fect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. The in­ter­est of in­ter­na­tional trav­ellers is in­creas­ingly grav­i­tat­ing to­wards ad­ven­ture tourism and mean­ing­ful ex­pe­ri­ences. Ker­ala will be re-branded as ‘The Land of Ad­ven­ture’ in or­der to woo the younger gen­er­a­tion. We have plans to de­velop wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties like kayak­ing and cruise tourism.

Our depart­ment is also keen on pro­mot­ing home­s­tays and ru­ral tourism. Ow­ing to the chang­ing pref­er­ence of trav­ellers for real trav­el­ling ex­pe­ri­ences through ex­pe­ri­enc­ing vil­lage life, the de­mand for home­s­tays has in­creased. The tourism depart­ment has also been work­ing to­wards im­ple­ment­ing ‘Bar­rier-Free Ker­ala’ to cre­ate ac­ces­si­ble spa­ces to the dif­fer­ently-abled and el­derly tourists.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.