first_imgKerala Tourism recently organised a press meet at The Leela Hotel, Gurgaon. P I Sheikh Pareeth, Director, Kerala Tourism and Secretary Dr G Kamala Vardhana Rao were among the guests at the event.Some of the talking points of the event included, statistics on domestic/international tourist arrival, new initiatives in God’s Own Country, progress in the Virtual world, expected growth in Tourism and Marketing plan for 2015-2016.Kerala popularly known as God’s Own Country is the perfect holiday destination of India; from picturesque landscapes, exciting getaways to rich culture and heritage the state has a lot to showcase. As a ritual, the state brings you a 360 degree preview of India’s favourite destination; the essence of the state being captured in one single event. The idea is to witness the rich culture, extravagant heritage, magnificent landscapes, cuisine, music and art all in one show.In 2014, foreign tourists’ arrival up by 7.60%, domestic tourists’ arrival up by 7.71%, and increase in foreign exchange earnings by 15.07%. With total Revenue generated at Rs 24885.44 crore.Foreign Tourist arrival to Kerala during the year 2014 is 9,23,366; which shows an increase of 7.60% over the previous year’s figure of 8,58,143.Domestic Tourist arrival to Kerala during the year 2014 is 116,95,411, an increase of 7.71% over the previous year’s figure 108,57,811. Foreign exchange earnings for the year 2014 are Rs 6,398.93 crore which recorded an increase of 15.07% over the previous year.Total Revenue (including direct & indirect) from Tourism during 2014 is Rs 24,885.44 crore, showing an increase of 12.11% over the last year’s figure.Kerala Tourism has declared the period from April 2015 to April 2016 as ‘Visit Kerala Year’ and an array of activities are planned as part of it. In the wake of the fresh initiative, Kerala Tourism will explore more new markets like China, Sri Lanka etc. Aggressive campaigns that target potential travellers in big traditional markets for Kerala will be conducted in the United Kingdom, France and Germany through trade fairs and road shows. Leveraging the increased air connectivity, a focused Ayurveda and monsoon campaign will be conducted in the Middle East where 90% of the Diasporas are from Kerala.A comprehensive festivals and events calendar will be prepared and promoted through multiple channels, including India Tourism Offices and Indian embassies abroad. Kerala will be promoted as a major ‘Wedding and MICE destination’ through online campaigns.Kerala Tourism will also launch a new theme campaign to showcase Kerala and its unique attractions, to strengthen Kerala’s position as ‘God’s Own Country’ and to create a destination pull. Food festivals will be conducted in cities like Delhi and Mumbai to market Kerala’s authentic cuisine, one of the tourist attractions of the State. Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) will come up with special discounted packages during the period.Government of Kerala has rolled out a lot of initiatives till date, ‘Seaplane Project’ and ‘Project Muziris’; being the latest projects which were rolled out last year in order to enhance the travel experience and add to its array of attractions. Where the former project is aimed towards improving last mile connectivity by air to its destinations across the state, the latter is directed to reinstate the historical and cultural significance of the legendary port of Muziris, which makes a part of Central Kerala.For the Seaplane Project, the immediate plan is to provide service initially in the priority circuit, consisting of the three airports of Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut and the prime destinations viz. Astamudi, Punnamada, Kumarakom, Bolgatty and Bekal in the state.The Marketing Initiatives for the year 2015-16 are aimed at Value of Money off season packages targeting some important cities of the country namely Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Surat.The Hop on Hop off Boats service was started as a part of Kerala Tourism’s many other initiatives in the year 2014. As part of its innovative water-based tourism facilities, the Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Ltd, under the state’s Department of Tourism, launched the Hop-on Hop-off boat service and Water Taxis, for the first time in India, in the backwaters of Kochi and in the Spice Route project of Muziris.In a short span of time, Kerala Tourism has made a mark in the Digital world. Kerala Tourism has 1.1 million plus Facebook fans, 44,400 plus Twitter followers, 6,000 plus Instagram followers, 500 plus Pinterest followers, 700 plus four-square followers; the Kerala Tourism YouTube channel has 7,189 subscribers and 8,578,373 views. More than 250+ articles on Kerala, Backwaters and Ayurveda published in guest blogs.The new website has been launched recently with a fresh look and increased accessibility with more information, 1,500 pictures and 3,000 videos.Kerala Tourism’s website, which attracts the maximum number of visitors, has been translated into various Indian languages like Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu, as well as foreign languages including Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish.Kerala has emerged as the No. 1 travel destination of the country in Google search trends, edging out Taj Mahal. This is a testimony to the international recognition of brand Kerala.Among the cultural events, which showcases Kerala, Onam is the biggest festival of Kerala. But, there is a lot more to Onam than being just a festival. Onam reflects the faith of the people of Kerala A belief in their legendary past, religion and power of worship. It shows the high spirit of the people who go out of the way to celebrate the festival. It is also a harvest festival. Kerala tourism organises events and exhibitions to add festive mood in the state.Nishagandhi Festival, the annual festival is set to be held from January 20-26, 2016. Renowned dancers perform Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kathak, Odissi, Modern Ballet and other folk forms. Artist and connoisseurs of dance from all over India come to enjoy this cultural treat. The festival is organised by the Kerala Tourism.Another amazing initiative in the offering is the Spice Route Revival Project. Kerala’s initiative to revive and promote the two millennia-old spice route, that links the south western coast of India up to Europe, through tourism has received a boost, with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) pledging support to the venture.Kerala Tourism has come out with a unique nature based soft adventure holidays program Natventure. The idea behind this is to use the key tourism products – Wildlife, Hill Stations, Beaches, Backwaters, etc. and engage the possibilities of adventure activities they offer. Kerala Natventure activities include Trekking, Camping, Rock Climbing, Jungle, Wildlife Safaris, Bird Watching, Cycling, Kayaking, Canoeing and Paragliding.Another forward initiative is the launch of the new ‘Great Backwaters’ campaign. The campaign aims at unveiling the state’s majestic backwaters as a single unique destination.A new campaign, ‘Home of Ayurveda’ was also launched to promote Ayurveda through all media. ‘Bakel’ has been introduced as a new destination in North Kerala.From a seasonal tourist place, Kerala was elevated to an all season destination through a successful Dream Season campaign launched during the off-season.last_img