Bloggers bid adieu to God’s Own Country

Bloggers at Kuthiramalika

Thirty bloggers from across the world concluded their jaunt at the God’s Own Country as part of the Kerala Blog Express in Kochi. For Kerala Tourism, the fifth edition of Kerala Blog Express provided much scope in its efforts at destination marketing. “The blogs and documentaries to be uploaded by the bloggers are expected to take Kerala’s fame beyond all that has been achieved hitherto in terms of tourism marketing,” said the state tourism department in a statement.

With the conclusion of the Fifth Edition of Kerala Blog Express in Kochi, the Kerala’s Tourism sponsored ‘Trip of a Lifetime’ has achieved all that was intended through this unique mode of destination marketing.

The Kerala Blog Express bus

The Kerala Blog Expresss’ two-week-long journey was flagged off by Sri Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Devaswoms. The first was spent at the state capital and witnessed history etched in places like the famed Kuthiramalika palace, the Padmanabhaswamy temple and the Kovalam beach.  After a small halt at Kollam they continued their journey towards Alappuzha where they experienced the backwaters with a stay in houseboats. “A trip around the model Responsible Tourism villages in and around Kumarakom proved to be an experience of a lifetime for the bloggers who took keen interest in getting to know more about Kerala’s successful implementation of its responsible tourism initiatives that had local community friendly as well as nature friendly tourism measures at its centre,” said the statement.

Bloggers at Chendamangalam synagogue

The next stop was at the Muziris Heritage site, travelling to Paliyam Palace, and the Chendamangalam Synagogue. The bloggers also had a riveting experience by opting for a country boat ride in Kochi’s backwaters. In Munnar, they were treated to a variety of cultural events and visits to the tea estates and tea factory there. From Munnar, the Kerala Blog Express chugged on to Kerala’s cultural capital Thrissur and had their fill of the experience that the Chathakudam Temple Pooram offered to them.

Sightseeing in Wayanad

Travelling further to Kozhikode, the bloggers had the chance to partake of the experience that the martial arts offered at the famed C V N Kalari. They explored Kozhikode’s sweetmeat lane (Mithayi Theruvu) in local autorickshaws. They were also entertained by the wall paintings organised by ‘Compassionate Kozhikode’, after which they visited the Beypore Shipyard.

A visit to the Ezhuthupara and a ‎rappeling adventure made the Kerala Blog Express’s Wayanad jaunt meaningful, after which they travelled to Kannur and indulged themselves in a kayaking session at Dharmadom. A visit to the Muzhipilangad beach and a session of quad biking was completed before walking into the St Angelo’s Fort in Kannur.

Members of the Kerala Blog Express Team taking part in the Responsible Tourism Village Life Experience tour in Kumarakom

Further north, the arrival in Kasaragod opened before the bloggers a boat ride across Valiyaparamba backwaters. The Kasargod leg of the trip was complete with a Muthappan temple theyyam recital, and sightseeing at Bekal Fort and its surrounding areas.

The 30 bloggers took a train to Kochi as they reached the final leg of the two-week-long trip and they continued with their sightseeing itinerary in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry on April 1, the last day of the tour.

Members pose for a group photo on the last day of the tour in Kochi.

The 30 bloggers from countries such as the US, the UK, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Romania, Venezuela and Peru had embarked on the two-week long journey across the state, which provided them with much fodder to document their experiences in Kerala so that the travelers who look forward to travelling to the state could benefit from.

Bloggers at Marari Beach

Throughout the two-week-long trip, multiple Live Videos and pictures were shared to a wide audience on a day-to-day basis via Kerala Tourism’s Facebook page, which has garnered 15 lakh followers so far. Bloggers also shared snippets of their every day experiences in Kerala though their social media handles such as Instagram and Twitter, thus reaching millions of their followers from every corner of the world over the course of their journey. The fourth edition of Blog Express, last year, was able to generate around 400 blogs and similar social media content, the results of which can been seen in the sizeable increase in tourist arrivals to the State in 2017.