The Kerala government is looking for doubling the number of domestic tourists and 50 percent increase in foreign arrivals by 2021, Tourism Minister Shri Kadakampally Surendran said here today.
“Digital platforms are the key to achieve the aim,” he said, while inaugurating the second edition of International Conference on Tourism Technology (ICTT) in Kochi. ICTT is one of its kind conference organized byKerala Tourismand Association of Tourism Trade Organization (ATTOI) which features eminent speakers from varied backgrounds for sharing insights on how to make use of technology to brand, market and sell tourism products and services.
“Year after year, we see a constant growth in the number of tourists we host. Hence the industry needs to evolve in accordance with the changes in global market. Kerala Tourism has been exploring new media as a key platform and has witnessed the reach and response to it,” he noted.
Terming the ICTT as “the gateway to improve our social media presence”, he said it would eventually enhance the tourism sector.
The inauguration ceremony saw in attendance Shri Hibi Eden, MLA for Ernakulam, Dr Venu V, Principal Secretary, The Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala and Shri P. Bala Kiran, Director, The Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala.
Dr. Venu V, IAS, Principal Secretary, Kerala Tourismlaunched the twitter campaign #Kerala #IndiaForBeginners on the sidelines of the event while Shri Kiran launched the Facebook campaign during the inaugural ceremony.
“Kerala Tourism has always been in the forefront as we were the first tourist destination to start a website. Later, we spread our presence to other social media platforms. The technology platforms are gently stronger. Hence we need to redesign and reengineer to cater the demands of guests,” Dr Venu said.
Shri Bala Kiran noted that the social media platforms would help to create buzz for promoting new destinations.
“The tourism sector concentrates mostly on the southern part of the state. But we need to focus on the northern parts as well. The technology platforms can be used for promoting creating buzz about new destinations,” said P. Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism.
Shri Eden said international tourists are keen to experience the authentic and local feel of a place. “The initiative of ‘Responsible Tourism’ is a much-appreciated effort as it gives them the local flavor. Such initiatives can be easily spread out to the world through the world of social media,” he further added.