Kerala tourism announces ‘God’s Own Country 2.0’, slew of new projects aimed at new markets unveiled

Kerala tourism department, in a media outreach event, announced a new media campaign centred around state’s tranquil backwaters. On radar is also the introduction of new offerings by rejuvenating ancient Spice trade route and port city of Muziris.

BW1-07Kerala tourism department has embarked upon an audacious new journey to further strengthen state’s tourism pegs and infuse new elements in its repertoire. In a tourism promotion and media outreach event held yesterday in the capital, Kerala tourism department unveiled a range of new initiatives, both, in augmenting offerings and concretizing outreach into key domestic and international markets.

One of the big takeaways of the outreach was the announcement of the launch of a newer version of perhaps India’s best tourism media outreach campaign. Kerala’s slogan of ‘God’s Own Country’ had been able to position the state in a unique light, creating enough buzz through the years to have catapulted it as one of the most visited markets in the country. The tourism department showcased a new media advertisement that highlighted state’s backwaters as the main attraction for tourists coming into the state.  State tourism official, speaking to TourismFirst, argued that although the ‘God’s Own Country’ campaign had gained enough goodwill and equity in domestic and international markets, the tourism board felt necessary to keep evolving with changing times. Dovetailing this brand push was coinciding with the probability of developing transport options including charter flights and trains and tourists’ bogies in trains from major markets in India, he said. “The brand tourism of Kerala is on the threshold of another major boost,” he added.  

The move is aimed at creating awareness about its lesser, known and, commercially active destinations. Also, through this foray, Kerala tourism board is keen on tapping some high-potential markets like Europe, Middle-east in the international arena, and North and northeast of India, domestically.

Besides, the state has also launched a plethora of initiatives. Some of the more insightful ones include time-bound restoration of the long-pending project of ancient Muziris Port. First of its kind in the country, aimed at restoring the historical and cultural significance of the port of Muziris, the project constitutes a series of 27 museums spread across the heritage region, between them showcasing maritime trade, erstwhile lifestyle and way of life. Muziris was an ancient spice city with flourishing trade relations with Romans, Greeks and, later, Arabs.  

Another important initiative that seeks to rejuvenate and revive the long lost Spice Route – which linked India’s South western coast with European nations – has been set in place to promote the centuries old route. The Kerala tourism department has received a shot in the arm with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) pledging assistance to this commendable undertaking.

Much of state’s tourism offerings are centred around its rich flora and fauna, famed backwaters and tranquillity that sets it apart. However, in a bid to further expand on these lines to diversify offerings, the state tourism would be launching a nature-based adventure holiday program. Terming it ECO-Adventure, the spokesperson underlined that the objective was to use key tourism genres of wildlife, beaches, Hill stations and backwaters to leverage them for adventure related activities. Trekking, camping, rock-climbing, Jungle-safari, kayaking and paragliding, among others, are expected to be core activities to be offered to tourists in this segment.

An overhaul in offerings and outreach from the state comes at the back of an impressive performance in attracting travellers to its shores. Numbers testify the success that the state has garnered in recent years. As per state’s official figures on footfalls, foreign tourist arrivals in Kerala in 2015 stood at 9,77,479 – which is an impressive growth of 5.86 percent from the previous year’s figure of 9,23,366. Domestic tourism segment has also witnessed an upward tick. Domestic numbers have soared to 1,24,65,571 from 1,16,95,411, recording an increase of 6.59 percent from the previous year.

Interestingly, some of Kerala’s success in its outreach must be given to its impressive presence in the virtual world. With over 1.2 million Facebook followers, 69,400 Twitter followers and some 6000-plus Instagram followers, the state has been able to create a substantial footprint in the online domain.

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