THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Come Thursday, the Kerala Blog Express will roll yet again, attempting to promote the state as a tourism brand on the national and international platforms. The Tourism Department initiative’s sixth edition coincides with the general elections, but the hightlight this time is the addition of desi bloggers.
However, the bloggers are prevented from jotting down the country’s biggest democratic exercise in order to ensure they do not violate the model code of conduct.Tourism Director P Balakiran told Express that around 28 bloggers from 20 countries would be touring the state, visiting various locations and instantly sharing their experience to millions of followers through social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
The state, realising the need to communicate with the domestic tourists in far more better way for the first time, is also exploring the possibility of reaching out to millions of domestic travellers by interacting them in various regional languages. To materialise that, desi bloggers will follow the foreigners’ tour in phase 2. The authorities believe it is important, especially considering the growth of domestic tourism and the revenue factor.
The domestic footfall in the state, which was 1.46 crore in 2017, jumped to 1.56 crore last year. Regarding the foreign tourists, the number went up marginally from 10.91 lakh in 2017 to 10.96 lakh in 2018.
The total revenue from domestic tourism sector was Rs 17,608.22 cr crore in 2017 while it was just `8,392.11 crore from foreign segment during the same period.
The total number of tourist arrival thus was 1.67 crore in 2018 against the 1.57 crore in 2017, fetching a total direct and indirect revenue of Rs 36,258.01 crore in 2018 against Rs 33,383.68 crore the previous year.
These stats speak enough for the need to focus on the domestic as well as the foreign segment while promoting Kerala as a brand both within the country and abroad, officers said.