Tourism revival: Let’s invite Malayalis to look within the state
Business is not about planning alone. It’s about expectations too. Whatever we plan may receive a setback all of a sudden. That’s what happened to the hospitality industry across the globe during the Covid-19 attack .
As we all know, ours is a fragile industry. Natural calamities, seasons, recession, epidemics etc have its own influence on this sector. So expectations play a big role in the hospitality industry.
I am talking about the post Corona scenario of Kerala Tourism.We have expectations that the business would again start coming in or there will be a boom within six months or so. But is it true? When is the virus spread going to end? Does anyone know that? Then how can we expect international arrivals or even domestic arrivals within this expected period.
But there is a big possibility that Kerala would overcome this situation soon (I am not an authority to predict when). The measures taken by the state government and its readiness to follow the instructions of the central government have resulted in a hope situation. But the rest of the world may take more time to recover, I believe. We may need at least one year to re-establish everything. Till then let’s only dream about international tourist flow.
So what’s in the store for us, post this Corona gap?
I know people in the rural areas of Kerala who are immensely rich.This pandemic is not going to affect their financial position in any manner. Most of these rural rich are either reluctant to travel or ignorant about the benefits of travel. We need to focus on them. There are urban rich as well who already have started traveling and they prefer foreign destinations.The recent boom in outbound business was because this segment.
What my point is that we should target both these segments for the post Corona revival period.They are not aware of the resort experience in Kerala.They can’t imagine the kind of hospitality and experience that the Kerala resorts are offering.The ambience, the service, the food,the professionalism and the overall experience that we offer are beyond their imagination.
Make them aware. Once again let me tell you that I am talking about the revival period which is exactly the opposite of the post flood period or post Nipah period.
To begin with, design economy packages for the Malayalis. Night life has a major role to play. The resorts in a destination like Kumarakom, Thekkady or Munnar can jointly provide this. Think about night long food festivals with dance and music. When you have a Malayali audience, entertainment can’t be about Mohiniyattam and Sopana sangeetham. It should be about Western or Eastern or even North Indian. Rather than individual efforts, joint efforts would do wonders. Let the Kerala destinations become their favorite foreign destinations for this period. (definitely not in all the sense! ).
Ask the government to provide temporary beer and wine license for the revival period for those who are not having the license (for the declared zones). Ask the Tourism Department to sit with you to design packages based on this and publicise them through all possible communication channels. Publicity is something which the Government alone can do in all its vigour. And this publicity will be some sort of a relief to the hospitality sector in Kerala.
Dear hoteliers, till yesterday you had only international tourists or domestic tourists in your mind because you had never thought of such a virus! Now the playground is yours to welcome the Malayalis who are not aware of our beautiful resorts.
School reopening may happen during these days but that won’t affect this plan much. And definitely you can ask the state to declare paid holidays for government employees to avail these Kerala holiday packages as it’s the duty of the government to build up confidence in the minds of its citizens after a stressful lock-down period. Let’s continue targeting the Malayali segment even after the revival period.
I had sent this note to few hoteliers and I got very positive response from some of them and we are happy to note that some of them have already started working on this.
(The author is Prasanth Vasudev, Deputy Director – Department of Tourism Kerala ( on leave ) & Vice President – Haven Hype)