Months after Kerala was hit by floods, the state’s tourism department has intensified its promotion campaign to attract domestic as well as international tourists. For 2019, the state has chosen Punjab to begin with and on Tuesday, a ‘Partnership Meet’ was held in Ludhiana that also saw artists from Kerala presenting cultural shows through visual storytelling.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Ramesh TP, information officer, Department of Tourism, Kerala, said that ‘Partnership Meets’ were being organised to connect with domestic tourists and it has begun from Ludhiana in Punjab.
“After the Kerala floods, the connectivity was hit. Most of the roads were damaged. Now, it has all been rebuilt and the state is standing on its own feet again. We want to convey to tourists that they can come to Kerala and won’t face any hassles. Tourism is the major source of income for our state and we need help and support in bringing our tourism economy back on track. People are still having doubts over coming to Kerala for holidays and we are aiming to eliminate that,” he said.
He said these ‘Partnership Meets’ are being held in PPP mode (public-private partnership) to attract tourists. “A fourth airport at Kannur in Kerala was recently inaugurated and now more tourist destinations are accessible, like Valiyaparamba backwaters, Kuppam and Ranipuram,” he said.
“After Punjab, we will take this summit to Chandigarh, Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Vishakhapatnam, Chennai and it will conclude on February 28 at Madurai,” Ramesh added.
Ramesh further said that Ludhiana and Chandigarh were chosen as the first destinations due to their ‘potential domestic market’. “We are expecting more tourists from Punjab and it is among our most potential domestic market,” he said.
On budgetary provisions made by Kerala government for promoting tourism, Ramesh said Rs 82 crore had been earmarked for promotion and publicity for 2018-19.
“We had a budget of Rs 82 crore for promotion in 2018-19. We need more than this for 2019-20 to cover up for loss due to floods. Floods did not affect tourist destinations much but the main problem was connectivity,” he said.