Kerala Tourism has created official Facebook pages in French and German languages, thus becoming the first tourism board in India to launch pages in a foreign language in social media. The pages contain details of the destinations in French (https://www.facebook.com/KeralaTourismeOfficiel) and in German (https://www.facebook.com/KeralaTourismus) languages to help tourists from the respective countries in their preparations, and to enable them to understand the experience offered by the state, a release stated.
The official Facebook page of Kerala Tourism is hugely popular among global travellers. Started in 2009, the Kerala Tourism Facebook page today has 85,000 fans.
France is the second biggest foreign market for Kerala after the UK. Nearly 100,000 French tourists had visited the state last year. Germany is also a key market for the state as the country ranks on the top of the list for foreign tourists visiting Kerala for Ayurvedic treatment.
“It is very important for us to communicate in various languages of the world. There are people around the world who love Kerala and it makes a lot of difference when we reach out to them in their own language,” said A P Anilkumar, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala.
The official French and German pages of Kerala Tourism on Facebook are interactive and reader-friendly with photographs and descriptions, giving a glimpse of key destinations across the state from the backwaters and the popular hill station of Munnar to the elephant camps in Konni.
The Facebook pages, however, are not just about destinations. Kerala Tourism has also undertaken the initiative to spread awareness about Ayurveda among travellers seeking wellness and therapeutic solutions. The state already has Facebook pages on Ayurveda in English (https://www.facebook.com/KeralaHomeOfAyurveda) and German (https://www.facebook.com/KeralaHeimatDesAyurveda) languages. The English page, considered the most comprehensive Facebook page on Ayurveda, has more than 100,000 fans, while the German page has over 4,500 active fans, mainly based in German-speaking countries.
“In the technology-driven world of today where information can be made available on mobile phones and computers, the choice of language plays a significant role, especially to reach out to a wider audience. Language should not be a barrier in connecting with people,” said Suman Billa, Secretary, Kerala Tourism.
S Harikishore IAS, Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, said the new initiative was part of the Department’s efforts to substantially increase foreign tourist arrivals. “Europe is a major market for Kerala in the tourism sector and we will take all the necessary steps to cater to the different countries and regions in the continent,” he said.
Kerala Tourism has won several national and international awards for its website. Its Twitter account is the most followed among tourism boards in the country with more than 20,425 followers. The Department has also launched official accounts in multiple social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn for taking its social media efforts to the next level. These new accounts are also being welcomed wholeheartedly by ‘netizens’ with the Instagram account already posting more than 200 followers and Pinterest over 150.