Thursday, October 5, 2023

IPL-model boat race revs up Kerala’s standing as all-season destination

Scope of Champions Boat League race widened to woo more tourists

Mumbai, October 05: After posting an impressive surge in domestic tourist footfall, Kerala has gained further traction as a major all-season experiential destination with its innovative products like the IPL-model Champions Boat League (CBL)races helping the southern state to scale up its standing as a highly-preferredtourist hub.

After the spectacular week-long Onam celebrations that saw an uptick in tourist arrivals, the third edition of the annual IPL-model CBL, started earlier last month, is expected to boost domestic footfalls in all regions of the state.

Panned out in the backwaters across Kerala, Champions Boat League offers a rare visual treat where magnificent snake boats (ChundanVallam), powered by scores of rowers on each boat,races past the emerald backwaters creating an aura of zest and zeal.

Commenting on the surge in the flow of domestic tourists, Tourism Minister Shri P A Mohamed Riyas said “the state has been making all efforts to impart further momentum to the post-pandemic upsurge in domestic tourist arrivals in Kerala. “

The Champions Boat League season, which comes close on the heels of the Onam Week Celebrations across the state, is ariveting time for the tourists to come to Kerala and enjoy its diverse attractions, Shri Riyas said.

“Rising to the demands and tastes of tourists of our time, Kerala has launched quite a few attractive products, besides widening the scope of existing ones and projecting the distinctfeatures of the State. This year, we are looking for the next-level fillip by attracting more domestic tourists to experience the novel tourism products”, he added.

Further endorsing its innovative initiatives to attract tourists, Kerala Tourism recently bagged the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award for its effective messaging to outside markets. The award-winning campaign ‘Make up for lost time, pack up for Kerala’, conceptualized for an audience transitioning to normalcy post-COVID, targeted domestic tourists. It made a splash in all major media platforms, including print, radio, OOH, digital videos and banners (web portals), and social media channels. 

To woo more tourists from within the country, a string of travel trade networking activities, including participation in trade fairs and organizing B2B trade meetsare planned. The firstset of B2B partnerships meet held in Kolkata&Visakhapatnam duringSeptemberand Pune earlier this week had a highly encouraging response from the industry.Besides, Kerala Tourism will organize roadshows in Surat and RajkotinOctober. 

As an initiative to further increase the effectiveness of the trade interactions in B2B trade meets and to create destination awareness, a familiarisation trip is offered to selected tour operators from the host city. The ‘Go Kerala’, familiarisation trip will help develop destination awareness and experience new products in Kerala to potential tour operators.

Tourism Secretary Shri K Biju saidthe trade fairs and roadshows are the perfect windows for showcasing the variety of experiences the state has in store for tourists.

The recent trends show that Kerala has turned out to be a glamorous wedding destination. Kerala’s unparalleled natural beauty, picturesque destinations, excellent accommodation and banquet facilities and connectivity make it one of the best wedding destinations in the world. With the serene backwaters fringed by swaying palm trees, pristine beaches, the mystic hill stations with sprawling tea plantations, the state has become an ideal place to embark on a new beginning, Shri K Biju added.

Tourism Director Shri P B Nooh noted that, Kerala’s houseboats, caravan stays, jungle lodges, plantation visits, homestays, Ayurveda-based wellness solutions, countryside walks, and adventure activities, including trekking to verdant hills, will be a real feast providing a unique experience to visitors. 

Also, the state’s core assets like beaches, hill stations, houseboats and backwater segment will heighten the totality of the visitors’ experience, he added.

In 2022, Kerala made a deep impression at major tourism and travel fairs in India and abroad like SATTE Delhi, OTM Mumbai, TTF Ahmedabad, BIT Milan, IMTM Tel Aviv, ATM Dubai, WTM London and ITB Berlin.

For Kerala Tourism, 2022 was a year of remarkable achievements and inspiring global and national honours. TIME magazine figured Kerala as one of the ‘50 Extraordinary Destinations to explore in 2022’. Conde Nast Traveller recognized Kerala’s ‘Aymanam village’ as one among the 30 best places to visit in 2022, while in March, the state was chosen by Travel Plus Leisure magazine for the Global Vision Award.

Last year, the STREET project, a part of the state’s storied Responsible Tourism initiative, bagged the global award at World Travel Market (WTM), London. The state was also voted as the Best Wedding Destination by readers of Travel Plus Leisure.

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