Monday, January 30, 2012

Kerala Tourism on marketing blitz in Australia, Middle East

Buoyed by an over 11 per cent increase in foreign tourist arrivals in 2011, which was a bad year for the global tourism industry given the bleak economic environment, Kerala is on a marketing blitz to attract more travellers from the Middle East and Down Under.

"We plan to spend over Rs. 10 crore on mass media campaigns and road shows alone in the Middle East and Australia this year," Kerala Tourism Director Rani George told PTI in Thiruvananthapuram recently.

This is significant, considering that the entire marketing budget for the Tourism Department of God's Own Country, which is how Kerala is known in global tourism circles, is only Rs. 35 crore for the year.

The marketing blitz in the Middle East involves road shows and mass media campaigns involving television and the print media.

The first leg of the campaign has already been kicked off in Saudi Arabia, with its three main cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhamam as the focal points of the road shows, George said.

In Australia, too, the department will be using the mass media and road show models to lure Australians to the country, she said, adding that the campaign will kick off in early February.

The other focal markets for 2012 will be Russia and China, she added.

George further said the department has empanelled creative agency Stark to come out with a tourism awareness film that will help locals respect foreigners visiting the state. The ad film will be ready in the next six months and will be aired in the main markets of Europe and Britain, she added.

"Foreign tourist arrivals rose 11.18 per cent in 2011 to 7.32 lakh, while domestic arrivals touched 93.8 lakh during the year, which is an increase of 9.15 per cent," George said.