Thiruvananthapuram, India – The Kerala Tourism Department has kicked off an aggressive marketing drive targeting the emerging global markets, an official spokesman said here.
Being initiated as part of the proposed tourism policy and supported by the travel and trade industry, the drive set off on a promising note with roadshows at Sydney and Melbourne in Australia earlier last week.
SHIFT IN STRATEGY
In the face of economic crisis in Europe and the US, Kerala Tourism has brought about a shift in its marketing strategy to lend better focus on ‘emerging’ markets such as Australia and Scandinavia, the spokesman said.
As part of the strategy, the State Minister for Tourism, Mr A. P. Anil Kumar, will lead a delegation to the World Travel Mart scheduled to be held in London from November 7 to 10.
Mr T. K. Manoj Kumar, Secretary, and Planning Officer Mr U. V. Jose, Kerala Tourism, will lead a delegation to workshops being planned to be held in the Scandinavian countries.
As per the schedule, the workshop will be held in Oslo on November 14, to be followed by those at Copenhagen, Helsinki, and Stockholm one after the other over the next three days.
Meanwhile, the State Tourism Department was holding a road show in Australia after a gap of three years.
The roadshows held on October 25 and 26 at Sydney and Melbourne saw Department officials make presentations on what made Kerala a tourism Superbrand across the globe.
They also included screening of the much-acclaimed ad film ‘Your Moment is Waiting,’ business-to-business interactions and interactive sessions.
“The roadshows proved to be quality draws and gave a slice of Kerala to the trade in these cities,” according to Mr Manoj Kumar, who led the delegation to Australia.
In Sydney, around 75 tour operators and travel agents took part while at Melbourne 60 had turned up.
GO KERALA CONTESTS
Among those represented on the team were Abad Hotels and Resorts, Cosmos Tours and Travels, Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort, Kalypso Adventures, Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala Travel Centre, Pioneer Personalised Holidays, Spiceland Holidays, The Travel Planners, and Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Hotel.
Travel agents, tour operators, travel writers, and hospitality majors from the two cities of Australia attended the roadshows. ‘Go Kerala contests’ were conducted in collaboration with Silk Air and Singapore Airlines.
Australia is an emerging market for Kerala with 36,854 arrivals in 2010, making it the fifth biggest overall. But, it amounted to just 5.59 per cent of the total foreign arrivals. The UK with 23.7 percent, the US with 10.8 per cent, and France with 9.8 per cent led the list of major markets in that order.
“We hope that the efforts will translate into business in due course,” said Mr Kumar, who led the delegation to Australia.
Many of the Australian players have evinced interest to visit Kerala and explore opportunities for possible business tie-ups.
The State Government has on its part reiterated its commitment to provide all logistic support to the trade partners, Mr Kumar said.
“We will take up issues such as air connectivity with the respective authorities,” he added.
This is part of a new drive by the State Government to approach emerging markets with concrete short-term and long-term strategies and tap their potential, says Ms Rani George, Director, Tourism, who was also part of the delegation.