Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Poised to soar new heights in 2024, Kerala Tourism today unveiled in the national capital, a raft of groundbreaking products including Heli-Tourism, connecting the state’s top destinations, as part of its aggressive campaign to increase the domestic tourist footfalls.

Branded as ‘Sky Escapes’, the heli-tourism project has been planned as a game-changer in the manner houseboats did for the state, three decades ago, and thus continue to lure visitors from both India and abroad, Kerala Tourism Director Shri P B Nooh said at a press conference organised as part of the B2B trade meet here today.

“Kerala has become the first state in the country to come out with a comprehensive heli-tourism policy. A micro-site has been created giving details of travel packages offered by the helicopter service providers. This initiative will be of enormous help to tourists planning to visit various destinations in a single trip, making the state an inter-connected tourism hotspot,” Shri Nooh pointed out.

“In the new year, we have drawn up an aggressive marketing strategy to bolster the presence of domestic tourists in the state,” the Director said, adding, “Kerala Tourism’s campaign — Make up for lost time, pack up for Kerala– received the prestigious PATA Gold Award in a rousing endorsement of its innovative promotional initiative.”

With an aim to put Kerala on the global adventure tourism map, the government has decided to host four international adventure sporting events this year. Adventure tourism was expected to grow 20% by 2032 worldwide. It also played a huge role in growth of domestic tourism. 

Big ticket adventure tourism events are also on the cards since the State’s geography features a challenging mix of mountains, rivers, beaches and canals, offering immense potential for this segment, the Director pointed out. 

International Paragliding Festival at Vagamon in Idukki from March 14 to 17, International Surfing Festival at Varkala from March 29 to 31, mega mountain biking event, MTB Kerala 2024, will be held at Priyadarshini tea plantation in Mananthavady, Wayanad, from April 26 to 28 and The Malabar River Festival 2024 will be held at Kodencherry in Kozhikode from July 25 to 28.

Kerala Tourism is also making concerted efforts to promote the state as an ideal wedding destination by leveraging its astonishing natural beauty, picturesque destinations, excellent accommodation & banquet facilities, and connectivity. The recent trend shows that considerable number of destination weddings are now happening across the state.

Kerala’s serene backwaters fringed by swaying palm trees, pristine beaches, the mystic hill stations with sprawling tea & spice plantations – all makes the state an enchanting place for couples tying the knot as well as for honeymooners.

“The government is committed to creating a conducive environment for destination weddings, attracting couples from around the world and boosting tourism and local economies,” he added.

Kerala registered a record number of 159.69 lakh visitors from within the country during January-September 2023, clocking an impressive growth of 19.34 per cent. “It is a testament to our innovative tourism initiatives that make the state not only a safe and hospitable destination but also an all-weather holiday paradise,” he said.

He said the revamped strategy of Kerala Tourism hinges on introducing new destinations, creating innovative tourism circuits, investing in infrastructure development and capacity building projects, broadening the award-winning Responsible Tourism (RT) initiative, which allows tourists to experience village life, and ensuring better connectivity.

Kerala Tourism will organise a string of travel trade networking activities in January-March in prominent Indian cities, by participating in trade fairs and also organize B2B Partnership Meets (roadshows) to introduce the new products to a wider audience. These included a Partnership Meet in Chandigarh earlier this week and a string of B2B trade meets in Bhopal, Lucknow, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad during February-March.

“Alongside the new projects, the state’s core assets like beaches, hill stations, houseboats and backwater segment will heighten the totality of the visitors’ experience,” he said, adding, “Adventure, Wellness, and Responsible Tourism will be taken forward with a greater sense of purpose and vigour”.

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