KOCHI: Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Monday flagged off the fourth edition of Kerala Blog Express (KBE), the Kerala Tourism initiative under which 30 influential travel bloggers from across the globe will explore the state and pen down their experiences.
Flagged off from Kochi, the KBE will take travel writers hailing from 29 countries to Alappuzha, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Munnar, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod before reaching Thiruvananthapuram, its final destination, on April 3. The initiative aims at presenting the state as a must-visit tourist destination to a wider, international audience.
Wishing the bloggers a wonderful trip, Surendran said the initiative had augmented Kerala’s image on the tourism map and helped sustain the tempo of tourism growth, a sector crucial to the state’s economy.
“KBE is an innovation we pioneered. We will continue to raise the bar for tourism marketing in the future,” he said.
The bloggers were selected via voting. Besides UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, travel writers from Moldova and Gibraltar are also travelling in KBE-4. Dipanshu Goyal from New Delhi is the sole Indian writer in the posse of travellers, while Carla Mota from Portugal is the most experienced blogger, having travelled around 82 countries. Most of the bloggers are visiting India for the first time.
The KBE was introduced in 2014 as a social media campaign comprising familiarisation trips, bloggers’ meets and road trips to create a pool of global brand ambassadors who experience Kerala at close quarters and reach out to international travellers. Through its past three editions, KBE shaped 87 such ambassadors, who documented their journey, experiences and memories across conventional, digital and social media platforms.