Kerala was successful in integrating technology with tourism: P Balakiran

Kerala had realized the infinite potential offered by the tourism scene as early as 25 years ago, said to P Balakiran IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism. He was addressing the closing session of the 12th UNWTO Asia/Pacific Executive Training Programme on Tourism Policy and Strategy in Kovalam.

“The state had moved ahead of times as it identified the revenue generation possibilities and the employment opportunities tourism could offer. Kerala was also able to integrate technology with tourism. The tourism industry in the state has already made use of various social media platforms to enhance the industry here, he said.

Balakiran also said that technology has brought in a sea change in the tourism scenario. “Travellers no longer take the traditional route to book while planning a travel itinerary, he observed. He also thanked UNWTO for choosing Kerala as the host for the event instead of opting for a metro. On an optimistic note, he said that with this programme, Kerala would be able to see an increase in tourist inflows from the Asia/ Pacific region.

“Even though most of the countries are moving ahead in the tourism industry, outdated laws pose a great barrier to them. When the technological world is efficient and fast-paced, the tourism structure, which should absorb the technology, has remained static. This reminds us of the Dinosaur Age. Ministries and organizations that work for tourism in various countries should be updated on the latest technology,” said Peter Semone, President of Destination Human Capital Limited.

The training programme acted as a reality check, and at the same time, gave insights into the integration of technology in the tourism sector.

Harry Hwang, Deputy Director, Regional Programme for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO, and P Balakiran IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism, together distributed the certificates for the participants of the 12th UNWTO Asia/Pacific Executive Training Programme on Tourism Policy and Strategy. The programme will formally conclude on March 22 with a Technical Tour organized by the Government of Kerala.