God’s own country calls Europeans

Kerala is all set its eye on the European travellers with a handful of new projects and packages. The Department of Tourism has set apart Rs 7.5 crore for promotional activities to woo the European tourists to the state.

Kerala Tourism minister, Kadakkampally Surendran, said the state’s tourism department has activated a rigorous promotional campaign involving diverse products to promote the state in Europe as it holds the top slot in the list of high potential markets for overall tourism growth.

‘Through this promotional and marketing campaign, the state aims to double the foreign tourist arrivals by 2021,”Rani George, Secretary, Tourism and Culture. The latest tourist arrival statistics have shown very “positive” signs of attaining this goal.

As many as 10,18,986 new domestic tourists were added during the time period of January to September 2017 as compared to the same period of previous year. As a result, the domestic tourist arrivals have achieved more than the target set out by the State Tourism policy. “Despite major changes in the tourism industry, including enhanced GST rates, the foreign tourist arrivals have also increased by 4.23 per cent during the same time period,” she said.

Under the promotional campaign in Europe 2017-18, Kerala Tourism has planned to utilise all forms of promotional tools under various categories, including television campaigns, Consumer Travel Mart and Kerala Blog Express. Under this campaign, the department has continued its focus on promoting the unexplored and pristine destinations of North Kerala such as Bekal, Kannur, Malabar, Wayanad etc,” said P Bala Kiran, Director of Kerala Tourism.

Kerala Tourism has planned a string of B2B Meets & Trade Fairs in order to attract the European vacationers to the state. The aim is to scale up the trade and tourism business of the state, while establishing new trade connections in the potential markets. The second phase of the ambitious promotional campaign had commenced with the participation of Kerala Tourism in Vakantiebeurs, the tourism-leisure fair of The Netherlands, which would be followed by FITUR, the international tourism trade fair of Spain. The German cities of Dusseldorf and Hamburg would be the venues for the first road shows in Phase II. Kerala Tourism would participate in BIT, the international travel expo and road show at Milan in Italy from February 11-13.

Last year, Kerala Tourism had launched ‘Yalla Kerala’ (Let’s go Kerala) campaign with a budget of Rs 7 crore targeting West Asian markets such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain to attract Arab tourists to Kerala.