Kerala tourism eyes boost in Chinese footfall with new partnership

Kerala tourism, Chinese tourists, Welcome China, Kerala tourist, women drivers in Kerala
A destination audit from the Chinese perspective has also commenced in major tourist spots of Alappuzha, Thekkady, Munnar and Kochi to ascertain the attractiveness of the destinations (iStock)

Kerala has become the first Indian state to strike a partnership with the ‘China Ready’ programme in a bid to woo more travellers from the neighbouring country. A workshop was also held on Saturday (September 26) in this regard for designing a marketing strategy for boosting the tourist footfall.

The programme has already been conducted in 48 countries. For the programme in Kerala, major tourist destinations in the state will be assembled for the Chinese delegation. It may be noted that the tourist footfall across the globe from China touches about 150 million a year.

Meanwhile, a report said that the tourism department in Kerala has teamed up with ‘Welcome China’, a government-accredited initiative that will take care of the travel and tourism aspects of the ‘China Ready’ programme.

A destination audit from the Chinese perspective has also commenced in major tourist spots of Alappuzha, Thekkady, Munnar and Kochi to ascertain the attractiveness of the destinations. This audit will go on till October 5.

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Reports further suggest that Kerala Tourism has provided ₹12 lakh for the audit and the workshop, and for providing inputs for the next one year.

Meanwhile, a top official of ‘Welcome China’ was reported as saying that India is one of the favourite destinations for Chinese tourists. “There is a deep cultural and historical connection between Kerala and China, but it has not become a favourite destination,” Marcus Lee, chief executive officer of ‘Welcome China’, was quoted as saying by Asianet.

In 2018, about three lakh Chinese tourists had visited the country and this enthusiasm showed by the Chinese market has surprised the stake-holders of the tourism industry.

Recently, Richard Matuzevich of the Beijing-based World Tourism Cities Federation had also said that China’s emerging class of young, educated and resource-rich passionate travellers are willing to visit countries in the East and South Asia.

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