The Tourism Department of Kerala is all set to begin with a five-month promotional campaign in nine Indian states to attract domestic travellers to its various destinations. The department aims to increase domestic tourist arrivals by 50 pc by 2021.
After the spread of Nipah Virus in Kerala (south India) affected businesses and tourism, the state tourism authorities are now preparing for a five-month long promotional campaign in potential domestic markets with 15 business-to-business (B2B) meetings scheduled between July and November this year.
The first phase of the campaign will get under way with a Travel and Tourism Fair in Kolkata (West Bengal) from July 6-8, followed by tourism partnership meets in Bhubaneswar (Odisha) and Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) on July 10 and 12, respectively.
Through the campaign, Kerala is setting sights on promoting the tourism potential of northern parts of Kerala moving away from the already famous cultural heritage in the state. Kerala plans to attract tourists from states including Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana, with the first phase of B2B meets culminating in Hyderabad on November 25.
In the recent years, Kerala has witnessed a notable increase in the number of domestic tourist arrivals and the tourism department has thus set a target of increasing domestic tourist arrivals by 50 pc by 2021.
Partnership meets during the campaign are expected to provide an opportunity for tourism trade to interact and develop business relationships with tourism industry players from Kerala.
According to the estimates of the Kerala tourism department, pre-bookings in the state went down 10 pc than expected due to the Nipah scare. The virus also affected pre-bookings for the Neelakurinji season that is set to commence in Munnar within a few days. The Neelakurinji flowers bloom in Munnar only once in 12 years and draws tourists from across the globe. The tourism department is thus running online campaigns to promote travel in Kerala, highlighting the ongoing monsoon season in the state.
For managing traffic during the season, INR 15 million have been allotted to the Idukki District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) to arrange transportation facilities to the Neelakurinji sanctuary. With at least 1 million visitors expected during the season, the permitted number of daily visitors will be increased from the existing 4,000.
Kerala had witnessed around 11 pc growth in tourist footfall last year with districts like Alappuzha, Idukki, Wayanad, Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam attracting the maximum number of domestic travellers.