Published on : Thursday, May 12, 2016
Kerala Tourism has added a new event to its tourism calendar. The Kerala Boat League (KBL), on the lines of Indian Premier League (IPL), will be the main attraction of Kerala Tourism’s extended Visit Kerala Year.
Though the authorities are leaving the field open to the next Tourism Minister, the ground work has commenced to attract more audience far and wide.
Six boat races will be held as part of the KBL in August, October, December and February before the extended Visit Kerala Year ends in April 2017.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation Secretary General will be the chief guest at the inaugural of the KBL boat races — two each in Ernakulam, Ashtamudi Lake and Alappuzha — to be held by a society to be set up under Kerala Tourism, according to official sources.
Kerala has decided to make its presence felt in the Beijing International Tourism Expo (BITE) 2016 that is commencing on May 20.
The encouraging response to the maiden roadshow at Shanghai and participation in the BITE 2015 in July last is behind the decision to aggressively market Kerala in China. China will be the focus source market for Kerala in the days ahead as part of this strategy, the official said.
The authorities are working towards carving a niche tourism product by giving the KBL tag to the boat races to offset the dip in the growth of the tourist arrivals. The Visit Kerala initiative is being extended by another year from April 2016 in view of the not-so encouraging response to the marketing drive and criticism from stakeholders that the initiative was launched without adequate ground work.