Kerala can be the perfect sunshine destination for the Brits – says noted travel writer Phil Frampton

There is a huge demand still for Kerala as a sunshine destination when the winters actually start in Britain and the rest of Europe and with some practical and logical changes Kerala can make a huge impact to tap this demand says Phil Frampton. All they have to do is to cash in on the existing demand in the UK through some aggressive marketing strategies and importantly stay ahead of the competitors.

Phil Frampton is the author of the noted travel guide book named “Hidden Kerala”

Sharing some insights on the current economic scenario in Britain and answering to some questions about the prospects for Kerala tourism, Phil said

“About the question of whether you think people will come to Kerala this year, this winter. I think my answer is definitely yes. I think many of the people I know and the people they know are queuing up to come there waiting for the virus vaccination. Basically, most of them are waiting, simply for the opportunity to get a visa and travel to escape the European winter, but also to get some sunshine. In terms of how Covid has impacted on Western Europe and the other states. Well, we look at it from the wealth – health and- happiness deficit going on. We have, for example, a huge amount of pent-up Savings in this country now and the type of people who come to Kerala in particular generally tend to be older and it’s a middle class- lower middle class and therefore mainly in relatively secure jobs, government jobs, and so forth where they their income is effectively being protected, but they haven’t been able to spend so there’s been a very significant increase in spending. Also in Europe,  people Over 60s will be getting the Vaccines on priority.

Spending to debt ratio in Britain has to change by the tune of 85 billion pounds. That’s about a lot more than a thousand pounds per head of the population. I think more like 10,000 actually because people have been able to spend…. I’m not going to Europe. I’m not going anywhere for the holidays. So there’s all that money’s built up. They haven’t had to buy new party dresses. You haven’t been able to go to restaurants and so forth. So mostly the average for Britain is about 5,000 pound, better off in the sense of having money in the bank, even if some of them don’t have a job now, but as I say the type of people we are talking about don’t really have that as a major issue. So the spending, the money is there to travel, in terms of health and People have not had holidays in Europe and have not had that recreation we say would have and in terms of happiness I have not been able to get some sunshine, but you know what Britain is like, not much sunshine, especially Manchester.

Also the fact is Kerala has had a really good write up in terms of covid, in the way. it’s being dealt with at least in the early stages. What’s happened since then, after September most people have not heard, but generally of all the international winter, sunshine destinations, Kerala has had one of the best write-ups. So I would not worry from that point of view, in fact, you know, there’s a side thing and I would promote how Kerala has been successful in dealing with Covid. I was also thinking about some of the other issues, so for example, the yoga lot they will come anyway from what people say, they are not worried, they’re not afraid about anything really so they will come and again they’re mainly middle class the younger and their incomes are relatively protected. It’s the small business people who probably will have the problem. So some of the people you know, who’ve got little guest houses here so forth they will have a problem. The Brits and Europeans who have got them they may be in a more difficult situation, the overlap will come.

Whether the Ayurvedic massage tourism will continue? I think that probably will take a bit of a hit because with people getting more sensitive and more close-up and so forth. Yoga, you can use the sunshine to get out in the open air. So that’s generally my view.  The real issue is that vaccinations are to, in Western Europe to begin in mid-December. So by the end of January, there will be people coming and people will be making their plans now, so I think it’s really up to Kerala tourism and Indian tourism to say, it’s really time to come now. Kerala has got a better advantage. You can’t promote Delhi at the moment because of the Covid situation there. Kerala is a lot better off the fact that you’ve already got domestic tourism,  you can chill people traveling Etc, but people want to make their plans as soon as possible and there’s obviously a range of sunshine destinations around the world. So it’s really for Kerala to get in there early out there I would say, to take advantage. I am surprised that the government is not offering a test and quarantine option at the moment because of a test and short quarantine option even if it’s for five or six days. Even if you test negative, that would be attractive to people who come in who generally come to India for a longer stay down a couple of weeks. So that would be one if they can quarantine in place as well that that will be it. But even if you had to quarantine in a hotel that’s more money for your businesses. I have talked to  90% of the people I know, who will be coming this year, but it’s really about what plans you are making and being ahead of the game. So I think that’s the issue which Kerala has to face really. How do you get ahead of the game if we’re going to protect tourism. It’s a great destination. So I don’t really see why as long as you’re ahead of the game that you’ll get tourism kicked off again, especially through February and March, a bit more ahead of the game and you get it in January as well.


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