Luring tourists post the pandemic: Kerala lines up nationwide campaigns

The campaigns will be based on themes such as Long Stays, Homestays, Drive Holidays and Change of Air

A bunch of innovative tourist-friendly projects launched in the post-Covid phase in active mode, Kerala Tourism is now rolling out aggressive promotional campaigns across the country in a bid to lure diverse segments ranging from family holidayers to working professionals, from adventure-seeking backpackers to honeymooners to the state.

The campaigns to ramp up the state’s tourism and hospitality industry will be based on a variety of themes such as Long Stays, Homestays, Drive Holidays and ‘Change of Air’ besides new products like Caravan Holidays.

Campaigns to be boosted by travel trade networking

These promotional initiatives will be bolstered by a series of travel trade networking activities, including participation in Trade Fairs, organizing B2B Partnership Meets and roadshows, and promoting products and events through various media such as print, TV, radio, digital, OTT, and theatre.

During the next three months (March-May), Kerala Tourism will participate in the 28th International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) at Tel Aviv (Israel) and at BIT Milan (Italy) and also organise B2B Meets 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. In addition, partnership meets will be held in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

Tourism Minister PA Mohamed Riyas said the pandemic had tapered off considerably across the globe, resulting in lifting of travel restrictions. “This augurs well for Kerala’s tourism and hospitality industry. We are in a resurgent mode now. We believe the recently launched products will woo back the travellers from both inside the country and outside”, he added. 

Tourists from inside the country have always played a major role in making Kerala’s tourism a throbbing enterprise. In the post-Covid world also, their role will be paramount. It is this belief that forms the essence of our pan-India promotional campaigns, he added.

According to Dr  V Venu, Additional Chief Secretary, Kerala Tourism, “the theme-based projects have been made after meticulous planning. Some of the new projects, like the biodiversity circuit, and Caravan Holidays, in particular, will take the travellers to Kerala’s unexplored areas while observing all the pandemic protocols, thus helping the state go beyond established destinations.”

Change of Air theme to entice urban Indians

A major objective of the ‘Change of Air’ theme is to entice urban Indians with families, for holidaying in Kerala as the state is making determined efforts to put its tourism sector back on track. “The idea of a ‘Change of Air’, often prescribed by physicians, is to flip the negative connotation around the pandemic-infected ‘air’ and foreground the fresh air that abounds in Kerala’s greenery and open spaces as the healthiest way to beat the lockdown blues,” Tourism Director V R Krishna Teja added.

The theme of ‘Longstays’ in Kerala will target the average urban Indian travellers with the concept of leisure and work at a destination. It involves working while away from the office, blending both leisure and productive time. 

Likewise, Homestays, another innovative product from Kerala Tourism, has attracted attention and acceptance of both policymakers and the tourists, who want to interact with and participate in local culture, lifestyle, social system and activities of people. The main component of homestays is the cultural diversity of the local people which can attract visitors.

During the pandemic, majority of the classified homestays in Kerala were either closed or empty. The reopening of tourism activities is expected to revive the languishing business of the homestay entrepreneurs.

Further, Kerala Drive Holidays is a value-added holiday experience to boost the confidence of tourists who are planning to visit Kerala. They can avail the service of self-driven cars or chauffeured cars when they arrive at the airport. Videos promoting Drive/Ride holidays in the state will be promoted as part of the campaign.

Putting on track ‘Keravan Kerala’, the state’s caravan tourism initiative, Tourism Minister last week opened the state’s first Caravan Park at scenic Vagamon in Idukki district. Noting that the project has evoked tremendous industry response within months of its unveiling, the Minister said around 353 caravan operators and 120 park developers have proposed to be partners in the stakeholder friendly project. 

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