Tag Archives: Kerala

Kerala rolls out customised trips to Biennale

In keeping with Kerala’s new ‘Land of Biennale’ branding, its 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 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. K. Suresh Kumar, assistant manager, DTPC – Thiruvanthapuram, said, “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 Deluxehas been conceptualised and executed by the DTPC. 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.” The initiative is supported by a leading tour operator. 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.

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Kerala Tourism’s impressive debut at Dutch trade event

Kerala’s highlights as tourism destination were on full display for the Dutch and other European travelers at the five-day Vakantiebeurs 2017, the biggest tourism trade event in the Netherlands. Laidback cruises on serene backwaters and Ayurveda rejuvenation therapies showcased at the Kerala pavilion grabbed attention and generated several inquiries at Vakantiebeurs 2017, which was held in Utrecht from January 10-15 and drew up to 1,08,000 visitors. The pavilion spread over 18 sq m, marked Kerala Tourism’s first appearance at the trade fair which is held annually in the second week of January in Utrecht and provides a gateway to the Dutch and European markets. For Kerala Tourism, the Netherlands is the 11th biggest originating market with 22,276 tourist arrivals registered during 2015, a 40% increase from 2010. “South India is yet to get as much attention in the Dutch market as the north of the country, and Vakantiebeurs was a chance for us to close the gap,” said Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran. “Our promotional campaigns in such prestigious fairs will help Kerala compete not just with north Indian destinations but international ones such as Sri Lanka and Thailand.” Kerala Tourism’s pavilion had the theme ‘Slow Down in God’s Own Country’, a nod to the relaxing and rejuvenating offerings of the state. The Dutch are big-time travellers and are keen to gather more information on new destinations, said Dr Venu V, Principal Secretary, Tourism. “Our pavilion attracted many enquiries which we expect to translate into holiday bookings over the next two years,” he added. Surveys show that of the Dutch people who visited the Vakantiebeurs event, 64% were there to gather information on holidays still to be booked and 54 per …

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AccorHotels opens first ibis in Kochi with 115 rooms

AccorHotels brought its international economy brand, ibis, in the capital of Kerala with the opening of ibis Kochi City Centre. ibis Kochi City Centre is also the first AccorHotels’ property to open in Kerala. The property features 115 guest rooms furnished with the signature ‘Sweet Bed’ by ibis, in-room amenities and Wi-Fi access. The hotels has two meeting rooms with state-of-the-art technology that can accommodate up to 70 guests for meetings and private events. Fitness enthusiasts can sweat it out at the hotel’s Cardio Centre. Located on Ernakulam’s commercial hub – MG Road, the hotel is a few steps away from the upcoming Kochi Metro station and a short drive from the Ernakulam Railway Station. Jean-Michel Cassé, Senior Vice President, Operations, AccorHotels India said, “We are pleased to open our first AccorHotels’ property, ibis Kochi City Centre in Kerala.  Kochi is an upcoming smart city and commercial hub and we are proud to open its first international economy hotel. With a sharp focus on today’s connected business traveller, the hotel promises to be a sophisticated stay destination with a host of innovative facilities, all at an attractive price point. We are proud to introduce the ibis brand to the city and look forward to fortifying our commitment to the picturesque state of Kerala.” Speaking on the opening, Ajit Jose, General Manager, ibis Kochi City Centre, said, “We are delighted to launch our very first ibis in Kochi. The property is reflective of the growing needs of corporate travellers while catering to the needs of leisure travellers to this fast-emerging metropolis. Guests can look forward to the innovative brand concept with welcoming, designer common areas and the modern food and beverage …

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Kerala Tourism’s virtual reality campaign starts with Delhi Airport

Kerala Tourism has rolled out ‘The Great Backwater Experience’ zone at a special interactive stall in the departure terminal at Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi. The initiative uses virtual reality to allow passengers to experience a Kerala experience while waiting to catch their flight. Similar zones are also being set up at airports in Mumbai and Bengaluru. U.V. Jose, Director, Kerala Tourism, said, “The zone is up and functional at Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi and visitors can get an immersive experience of sitting inside a ‘kettuvellam’, a traditional Kerala houseboat, floating on tranquil backwaters in a place situated over 2,000 km away. This has been made possible through the innovative use of virtual reality.”

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Etihad Airways expands India–UAE service with Jet Airways

Etihad Airways will launch a fourth daily flight between Abu Dhabi and Kozhikode on 26 March 2017, capitalising on the strong traffic flows between the state of Kerala and the UAE, and beyond. The airline will also double its frequency between Abu Dhabi and Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat, from 1 February 2017 with the launch of a new daily service. Etihad Airways announced the expansion of scheduled services between Abu Dhabi and India as strategic partner Jet Airways unveiled new routes and additional frequencies to further strengthen their partnership. From early 2017, the two airlines will expand their services between the United Arab Emirates and India by adding 28 weekly flights and three further Indian cities. Jet Airways recently announced the launch of daily flights between Tiruchirappalli (Trichy), Tamil Nadu, and Abu Dhabi on 1 February 2017, offering travellers another option from southern India. Jet Airways will also introduce daily services from Kannur, the fourth Kerala gateway to Abu Dhabi. It also plans daily services from the northern Indian city of Chandigarh to Abu Dhabi, which will benefit travellers to and from the state of Punjab. The two routes are due to begin in the second half of 2017, subject to the completion of operational readiness at these airports. From 15 January 2017, Jet Airways will introduce a second daily service between New Delhi and Abu Dhabi. With Etihad Airways already operating three flights a day between the two capital cities, the enhanced operation will give guests a wider choice of departure times. Etihad Airways currently operates 175 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and 11 Indian cities. Together, Etihad Airways and Jet Airways offer 252 weekly flights …

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Kerala brands 200 Dubai taxis

Kerala Tourism has rolled out a taxi campaign in Dubai targeting Arab travellers, showcasing the state’s features on taxis on the Dubai roads. Around 200 Kerala-branded taxis carry the message of ‘A Faraway Land Four Hours Away’– with visuals featuring hill stations, backwaters, waterfalls and also Ayurvedic therapies. The campaign will see the cabs take to the streets sporting wrappings aimed to promote the state’s Monsoon getaways. “Apart from the favourable climate, the relative proximity and excellent air connectivity between Kerala and the cities of the Middle East make it easier to attract holiday makers to the state,” said Dr. Venu V, Principal Secretary Tourism, Kerala. “Dubai, being the hub for air travel in the region, was the logical choice of location for the marketing campaign. The exposure and footfalls gained by Kerala will bear this out.” The campaign, inspired by the previous highly successful branding efforts on London taxi cabs and the Mumbai metro, will run until August 15. Besides serving to augment Kerala’s destination pull, it is an acknowledgment of the growing importance of the Middle East outbound tourist market. Kerala received more than one lakh visitors from the region in 2015, with some 20,506 tourists from the UAE alone. The majority came from Saudi Arabia with 51,149 Saudi nationals visiting last year, while Oman accounted for 18,763 footfalls. “As the holiday season in the Middle East coincides with the Monsoon season here, Kerala is well-positioned to benefit from the influx of travellers looking to trade in the sizzle and dust for cooler climes and greener pastures,” said U.V. Jose, Director, Kerala Tourism.

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9,77,479 foreign tourists visited Kerala in 2015

Kerala received 9,77,479 foreign tourists in the year 2015 recording a growth of 5.86 per cent over the previous year’s figure of 9,23,366. Domestic tourists footfall during the same period was 1,24,65,571 with a growth of 6.59 per cent over the previous year’s figure 1,16,95,411. Nandakumar K P, Deputy Director, Kerala Tourism, recently informed at a roadshow held in New Delhi. He also said, “Tourist figures to Kerala have been growing vigorously for the past twenty years. We only saw a little bit of slow down last year and previous year but we are still growing. So, this year we are coming out with a five year action plan to increase footfall. We are going to increase the accommodation facilities and availability and increase the number of classified hotels. We are going to introduce more than 1000 home stays also. We are also going to tap new international markets like the Eastern Europe which is an emerging market for us.” He also informs that the state aims to add 5,00,000 more employment opportunities in the tourism sector in the next five years.

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‘Experiessential’ packages for Kerala inbound tourists

Association of Tourism Trade Organisations India (ATTOI), a consortium of tour operators in Kerala, have launched a 9-day experiential package ‘Navaratana Experiessential Holidays’, for inbound tourists which would include 500 new packages for visitors in the first phase.  The highlight of the packages will be an insight into village life, community interactions and promotion of sustainable tourism practices. Local interactions, tradition of Ayurveda, full body massages, jungle boat safari, backwater cruises on houseboats, tea factory visits, tour of Kerala’s trade and cultural ties with the rest of the world. The first phase of the packages by the consortium, targets foreign tourists and is uploaded on ATTOI website. Packages for domestic tourists will be launched in the next phase. “The Navaratana ‘Experiessential’ Holidays is going to redefine the way we see Kerala with 99 unique experiences in nine days,” said Anish Kumar P K, President, ATTOI. The finer elements of the industry consortium by ATTOI involves collaboration of hotels, tour operators and vendors at each destination. A P Anil Kumar, Tourism Minister, Kerala, said, “The state government’s plan allocation to the tourism fund has been increased from Rs 100 Crores to Rs 225 Crores in the course of five years. This will be further increased in the coming budget session.”

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