In order to meet the demands and preferences of travelers and vacationers in the post-pandemic era, Kerala has established itself as a safe and fascinating long-stay destination in all seasons by rolling out new products like caravan tourism, while consolidating its time-tested assets to host domestic and foreign guests throughout the year.
In a paradigm shift from a location-specific one-stop approach, Kerala has firmly established itself as a destination for extended vacations for all segments of visitors with a bouquet of diverse experiences stacked across the state like homestays, driving holidays, change of air based on wellness vacations and adventure tourism activities, National Director of Tourism VR Krishna Teja said during a press conference on the sidelines of a partnership meeting here today.
The new strategy has boosted stakeholder confidence in Kerala, with the travel and hospitality industry appearing confident of a busy year ahead with a surge in footfall.
“For Kerala, 2022 will be the year of Kerala Tourism. The coming year is filled with a busy schedule of exciting events and festivities including the Kerala Travel Mart in May, the Champions’ Boat League (CBL ) in August-November and Kochi Muziris Biennale in December-March, in addition to several cultural and literary festivals and adventure tourism activities,” said Krishna Teja.
What is unique in Kerala is that the state offers a variety of experiences for tourists like houseboats, caravan stays, jungle lodges, plantation tours, homestays and city life, Ayurveda-based wellness solutions, countryside walks and adventure activities including trekking in the green hills.
Kerala has also launched a major initiative to open up the entire state to tourists in a sustainable manner without disrupting the ecology and cultural milieu of destinations by partnering with local communities and civic institutions. This project aims to explore off-the-beaten-track destinations across the state and has been incorporated into the responsible tourism movement to preserve Kerala’s world-renowned heritage.
Along with the new projects, key state assets such as beaches, hill stations, and the houseboat and backwater segment will enhance the overall visitor experience. Starting with a partnership meeting in the nation’s capital, a series of travel industry networking activities, including attending trade shows and hosting B2B partnership meetings and roadshows were planned to introduce new products to a wider audience. Various media such as TV, print, radio, digital, OTT and theaters are also leveraged for this.
To promote the state as a safe and glamorous honeymoon destination, Kerala Tourism has also launched micro video songs to attract honeymooners from India and abroad.
With the lifting of restrictions on international travel caused by the pandemic, Kerala is now in a resurgence mode and the recently launched products will appeal to travelers from inside and outside the country, Krishna Teja said.
Major international tourism events where Kerala plans to show its strength in the next three months include the 28th International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) in Tel Aviv (Israel) and BIT Milan (Italy). In addition, B2B meetings will take place in Madrid and Milan.
As for national events, he will attend trade shows like OTM Mumbai, TTF Chennai and South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATT), New Delhi, and organize partnership meetings in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
The domestic market has always been a key segment to make Kerala tourism a thriving business. In the post-COVID phase, its role will also be essential. It is this belief that forms the essence of our pan-India promotional campaigns, he added.
Meanwhile, ‘Keravan Kerala’, the state’s caravan tourism initiative, garnered good response from the industry in a short time, becoming a major product after Kerala Tourism recorded an exponential increase fueled by the houseboat cruise about three decades ago.