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Kerala leverages technology for tourism

Staff Reporter

Uses social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote the State



In sync: Women participating in a group dance organised by Kerala Tourism in city on Tuesday.

HYDERABAD: The ever-innovative Kerala Tourism Department has recently introduced a scheme ‘Bring Home a Friend' which aims to promote tourism by roping in Non-Resident Keralites (NRK) to work for tourism promotion in the ‘God's Own Country'.

The NRKs may register with any of the 30 designated tour operators and bag points every time they successfully bring a visitor to Kerala. In turn, they can avail special discounts and incentives offered by the operators.

Offers

The department is also offering ‘Kerala Serviced Villas' aimed to provide comfortable accommodation that will offer a “never-before opportunity to experience authentic Kerala”. Using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to promote the state in the international market, the department has made giant strides in attracting foreign visitors, Deputy Director (Publicity and Marketing) of the Kerala Tourism Suresh Kumar P.G. said.

A video commercial ‘Your Moment is Waiting' launched at the Saatchi Gallery in London brought the State more into focus when screened on YouTube, he said. Two-and-a-half million people were reached through the subsequent release of the ad film on iPhone and iPad for UK, US and French users.

Sharing the details on the sidelines of the Partnership Meet organised by the Kerala Tourism here on Tuesday, he said the department recorded an 8.6 per cent jump in the number of domestic tourists and 18.2 per cent jump in that of international tourists during the year 2010. United Kingdom was the major market providing 26 percent of the tourists while France, Germany and USA followed.

Striking deals

The meet brought 40 sellers and 108 to 110 buyers at one place for striking deals towards strengthening domestic market. Sellers included tour operators and hoteliers while tour operators from here were the buyers. A total of fifteen such meets have been conducted in cities such as New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Indore, Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai, and Chandigarh while five more are in the pipeline in tier-II cities such as Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Vijayawada, Bhopal and Coimbatore in the current year, Mr.Suresh Kumar informed.

The meet ended with a medley of Kerala traditional dance performances including Mohini Aattam, Kathakali, and Theyyam.

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