‘Visit Kerala’ from April 9

Kerala Tourism’s Visit Kerala 2015, a new initiative to promote the destination and increase footfall, will be kicked off on April 9.

The initiative, which will include events ranging from arts to sports, will be on from April 15 this year to April 14, 2016. The start of Visit Kerala will coincide with Vishu, a festival cherished by Malayalis, that falls on April 15.

Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Mahesh Sharma will launch Visit Kerala in the presence of Minister for Tourism A.P. Anil Kumar and Union Tourism Secretary Lalit K. Panwar in the national capital.



‘Season of surprises’

At the function to be held at Hotel Ashoka on April 9, the slogan and logo for the event will be released. The authorities have zeroed in on the slogan ‘Season of surprises.’

The focus will be on Ayurveda, festivals, cuisine, Responsible Tourism, Spice Route, Muziris Heritage, and new tourist destinations.

Kerala Tourism is gearing up to release a comprehensive festival and events calendar to woo travellers, and launch a global campaign to spread the word.

It has roped in stakeholders in the industry for the event, and persuaded airlines, hoteliers, and travel agents to give discounts and offers to visitors. The last of the series of meetings with the tourism industry was held in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

Tourism Secretary G. Kamala Vardhana Rao told The Hindu that the response to the letter written by him to the Ambassadors of foreign countries based in New Delhi seeking their cooperation had been good. The Ambassadors of the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, and Ukraine had promised all help, he said. More familiarisation tours were being planned and the facility for T-VoA in two airports of the State would be exploited fully.

Kerala Tourism is targeting over 1.37 crore tourist arrivals this year. In 2014, foreign tourist arrivals were 9,23,366, up 7.6 per cent from 2013, while domestic arrivals touched 1.17 crore, up 7.71 per cent from the previous year.