Amid Kerala Tourism’s effort to woo more Chinese travellers to the state, a workshop was held today for travel and tourism trade as part of designing a marketing strategy to increase their footfall.
Inaugurating the concluding ceremony of the workshop, state Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the state should tap the strong China market which sends 150 million tourists across the world. “Kerala will do a sustained China Ready campaign with definite partnerships at G2G, B2B and B2C levels,” he said.
"In spite of deep historical, cultural and continental connect, Kerala is still not the most frequented tourist destinations of the Chinese, a scenario that is bound to change in the coming days," said Marcus Lee, CEO, Welcome China, a government accredited initiative that works to help travel and tourism trade engage meaningfully with China.
Speaking to the participants on the possibility of increasing the tourist footfall from China, Lee said, "By thinning the gap that keeps Chinese tourists from India, there are greater chances of India being one of the favourite exotic destinations of the Chinese people". The workshop was attended by around 40 hoteliers and tour operators from across the state.
Inaugurating the workshop earlier, Rani George, Tourism Secretary, said "With China Ready programme, Kerala Tourism hopes to get an opportunity to open avenues for not only cultural exchanges but also mutual economic benefits."
P. Bala Kiran, Tourism Director, said, " tapping the Chinese market is vital for Kerala since it will boost the state’s revenue from tourism substantially." China Ready programme, which has already been conducted in 48 countries, is exploring India for the first time with its association with Kerala Tourism.
The Workshop will be followed by a five- day trip by the Chinese delegation from 0ctober 1-5 to various tourist destinations in Kerala. The group will visit Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Thekkady, Munnar and Kochi and will provide the Chinese perspective on what needs to be done for making these destinations more attractive to Chinese tourists.
Recently, Beijing based Richard Matuzevich of the World Tourism Cities Federation told the International Conference on Tourism Technology (ICTT) at Kochi that China’s emerging class of young, educated and resource-rich travellers are passionate about visiting countries, especially in East and South Asia, but India is yet to figure in their list of top eight destinations.