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Wednesday, 21 January, 2009, 13 : 00 PM [IST]

KTDC properties less affected by the slow down: Cherian Philip

Compared to Kerala’s private hotels, public sector Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) run hotels in the state are less affected by the impact of the global slowdown and the resultant lowering of tourism footfalls in the state. According to Cherian Philip, Chairman, KTDC, the impact was around 10 per cent on KTDC properties, while overall impact on Kerala’s tourism sector was 25 per cent as compared to the previous year.  

Elaborating the reason for KTDC hotels’ comparatively good performance, Philip said, “KTDC properties were still the first point of contact for a majority of tourists coming to the state as they are premium properties. Muscat Hotel at Trivandrum; Aranya Niwas at Thekkady and Tea Country at Munnar are still the first preference for tourists visiting these places. So, our properties are less impacted due to recent incidents,” he explained. Philip added that KTDC has succeeded in enhancing the product and service quality in these properties during the last few years. However, he conceded that cancellations are a big worry for all hotel properties in the state.  

Philip continued that concerted efforts are being undertaken by Kerala Tourism to minimise the impact through various initiatives. “More than the global meltdown, it was the Mumbai terror attacks that resulted in the present state of affairs. So, our primary aim is to send the outside world a message that says Kerala is safe and secure,” he said. Instead of traditional markets, state tourism will also unleash promotional marketing campaigns in new markets like Russia, China and Arabian countries in the coming months, added the KTDC Chairman. “We will spread our campaigns to all these markets soon to offset the decreased footfalls in our traditional markets like Europe and the USA.”

According to Philip, “Although, Kerala is popular abroad, the state is yet to become an important tourist destination amongst domestic tourists. Therefore, our new marketing strategy will be to attract additional domestic tourists.” This will be achieved through numerous road shows and campaigns in the domestic market.  

Kerala Tourism also plans to utilise the services of non-resident Keralites to promote the destination in overseas. The Kerala government recently organised an investor meet to attract investments from Keralites settled abroad in different sectors, including tourism.  When asked about the investors meet’s purpose, Philip said, “The government’s twin intentions were to attract investments in the tourism sector and utilise the services of the global Malayalees as Kerala Tourism ambassadors. Our strategy is to market ‘God’s own country’ through Keralites settled all over the world.”
 
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