In an aggressive bid to make deeper inroads in Europe, Kerala Tourism conducted a string of high-energy road shows by participating in World Travel Market (WTM) London 2019 in November and showcasing its formidable eyeball-grabbing products in the emerging markets of Scandinavian countries Denmark and Finland.
Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran led a high-profile official delegation, comprising prominent trade partners like hoteliers, resort owners, tour operators and service providers from the state, to WTM London and roadshows in Copenhagen (Denmark) and Helsinki (Finland).
At WTM London, Kerala Tourism set up a spectacular pavilion over 120 sq.mt area with the theme of ‘Human by Nature’, its latest innovative marketing campaign that creates a beautiful symmetry between the state’s people and nature’s beauty. The three-minute destination campaign film, part of a marketing blitzkrieg to refurbish Kerala’s touristy appeal beyond the Indian shores, triggered huge interest among the Londoners.
A large number of meetings were scheduled with various stakeholders like tour operators, leading travel publications and Outbound Tour Operators at the London pavilion. Alongside, the delegation held B2B meetings with the trade partners from Kerala.
Bala Kiran was also invited as an eminent speaker at the WTM Inspiration Zone panel discussion, where he presented the various initiatives of Kerala Tourism that enabled it to bounce back from the devastating floods within just six months.
Kadakampally Surendran, Tourism Minister, Govt. of Kerala said, “These roadshows will strengthen the credentials of Kerala as a renowned destination in the product catalogue of London-based operators.”
The minister noted that it would also help the state get a firm toehold in the Scandinavian region, which is a key travel source market in Europe. “It has a mature outbound-travel market, comprising those with a high propensity to travel and some of the highest per capita incomes in Europe. Roadshows at Copenhagen and Helsinki will help us to tap Denmark and Finland market where citizens enjoy high standards of living and high disposable incomes.”
Incidentally, the UK ranks number one among the markets for Kerala in terms of tourist arrivals with 201,258 visitors coming to the state in 2018.
Rani George, Tourism Secretary, Govt. of Kerala said, “It has been our conscious strategy to hold roadshows not only in our traditional strongholds like the UK but also in the new and emerging markets to drive up the tourist footfalls. It will help us present the heritage and traditions of Kerala to a wider number of travellers.”
Kiran said the roadshows had given an opportunity to Kerala to display an array of new tourism products and untapped destinations in the state. “Western Europe is our main market but we are expanding to Eastern Europe and Scandinavian countries also.”
At the roadshow in Helsinki, the Tourism Director made a presentation before the traders from Finland, providing the Kerala trade partners a chance to interact with the tour operators and travel publications of that country. Mr. Nirmal Kumar Chawdhary, First Secretary/Head of Chancery, Embassy of India, Finland attended the event as the chief guest.
The roadshow in Copenhagen was attended by Indian Ambassador to Denmark Mr. Ajit Gupte as the chief guest. Air India was the airline partner of the event.
Both the roadshows concluded with the ‘Go Kerala’ contest. The winners were awarded the ‘Go Kerala Certificate’ in which they can avail an 8 day-long holiday in Kerala. Finland is an emerging market for Kerala with a tourist arrival of 2,488 in 2018. Denmark is also an emerging market for the state with 7,851 tourists from that country visiting the state in 2018.
Roadshows were also held in Warsaw (Poland) and Budapest (Hungary) last month.