THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Tourism is changing tracks, to project the State as an activity-oriented destination to attract more youth and families and increase the footfall.
So far the focus has been on promoting palm-fringed beaches, emerald backwaters, lush hill stations, exotic wildlife and Ayurveda, reports The Hindu.
A slew of campaigns at the national and international fairs, travel marts and roadshows over the years had anchored Kerala as a global brand, with domestic and foreign tourists touching 1,31,72,535 and 10,38,419 respectively in 2016.
The goal before Kerala Tourism is to increase domestic tourist arrivals to two crore and foreign to two million by 2021.
To realise this objective, the product and geographic portfolio should be expanded with a tactical shift in campaigns to increase the footfall by 75 lakh in the next four years, Director of Kerala Tourism P. Bala Kiran told The Hindu.
“We will be going for activity-oriented initiatives to attract the youth and family segment in a big way and Kerala is to be branded as the Land of Adventure,” Mr. Kiran said, hinting at rebranding of the promotion campaign.
Of the host of activities such as trekking, safari, paragliding, scuba-diving, kayaking and adventure sports, water sports will get prominence in the plans being chalked out by the department.
“We are trying whether water-based activities can be launched in waterbodies and along the State’s shoreline. We will incentivise operators to undertake these. It will be rolled out in well established tourist destinations and subsequently at others,” he said.
Kerala Tourism set up the first adventure park at Thenmala in 2001 along with the first planned ecotourism destination of the country.
The Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society formed in 2012 will come in handy for the new initiative. Already, adventure tourism parks are in place at Veli tourist village, Thenmala, Ashramom, Karlad in Wayanad, and Kottakunnu in Malappuram.