THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Soon, Keralites can rekindle their long-lost sense of class struggle and proletarian principles as Kerala tourism is eyeing to tap the growing potential of the Chinese tourism market by holding special campaigns in Communist China.
Speaking to Express, Tourism Director P Bala Kiran said the department has prepared a plan of action for the current season and China would be one of the major destinations the department would be focusing this year after the West Asian market.
“We have been promoting Kerala as a tourism brand in European and West Asian markets over the years. But the focus of the global tourism industry is slowly shifting to Asia and China occupies a major position in the emerging markets in Asia. We can no longer disregard the growing Chinese market as the Asian tourism market would be surpassing the potential of EU market in five to 10 years. At present, there are only around 2 lakh Chinese tourists visiting the country annually of which around 9,000 tourists visit God’s Own Country,” he said.
“We can considerably raise these numbers if we can promote the Kerala brand in China, for which a detailed campaign plan has to be prepared. Though Chinese tourists are flocking to Far East destinations and even Colombo, they are yet to be aware of the tourism potential of Kerala.
“The industry has also been long demanding to give special focus to China. In this backdrop, Kerala tourism has decided to give special emphasis to China apart from the West Asian market,” he said.
Though the segment offers a lot of potential for the state, there are challenges galore before the state. Language is one of the major constraints for the progress towards the China-centric shift. Chinese tourists are reluctant to speak English and we have to train our local guides and major stakeholders in the sector in the Chinese language to offer a hassle-free tourism experience for them. So, the plan of action will have a China-specific strategy to woo them.
A proposal in this regard has been submitted in the review meeting of the department and once the Minister provides the green signal, a campaign to this effect would soon be initiated, said, department officials.