KOCHI: In keeping with the state’s new ‘Land of Biennale’ branding, the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) has launched the ‘Biennale Deluxe’ initiative, which will provide free, customised tours of the ongoing third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.
The first of a number of such buses planned over the Biennale’s run pulled in yesterday from Thiruvananthapuram, bringing 17 visitors across age groups for a weekend trip to India’s only Biennale. The group took in a tour of primary venue Aspinwall House and other sites.
“The Biennale has become a major unique selling point to promote Kerala and this prompted us to roll out this attractive and unique tourism initiative. The Biennale Deluxe has been conceptualised and executed by the DTPC,” said K. Suresh Kumar, assistant manager, DTPC – Thiruvanthapuram. The initiative is supported by a leading radio channel and tour operator.
“The DTPC organises customised tours from the state capital to various tourist destinations in the state. We already have a well chalked-out itinerary, which engages the guests with both the host city and the Biennale. The one-day trip to the KMB is totally free of cost,” he said.
Kumar also added that the Council is planning to associate with other tourism stakeholders across the state to bring in more people to the Biennale, especially from southern Kerala, and organise similar trips in the coming week.
The initiative is the latest in a series of promotional efforts by state tourism bodies. Kerala Tourism is helping spread the Biennale’s message with its ‘Live Inspired’ campaign. Apart from the quality of art on display or its drawing power, the story of the Biennale is also about the connections and sense of shared ownership it has managed to develop between individuals, communities, groups and institutions over its three editions.
In an earlier visit to the Biennale, Principal Secretary (Tourism) Dr Venu V. had noted as much. Describing the Biennale as a “model to follow”, he had said, “This is not just about art or tourism. It is about the common man of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry and creating the sense of ownership and involvement across sections of people.”
It is this spirit of stakeholdership that makes the ‘people’s Biennale’ such a popular draw, said KMB co-founder Bose Krishnamachari, who noted that it was great to find tourism organisations coming in to facilitate wider participation in and engagement with Biennale.
“It is heartening to see that these organisations are networking and coming up with new campaigns to allow more and more people to experience the Biennale. Besides being a promotional vehicle for the Biennale, this welcome initiative will help strengthen cultural and artistic appreciation in Kerala in the long run,” Krishnamachari said.
Musafir Namah Bureau