Carving out a niche in the market
Karnataka Tourism’s new initiatives to infuse interest in travellers
In a candid conversation with TravelScapes, Kumar Pushkar, IFS, Managing Director, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) highlights how the new promotional campaign will broaden the spectrum of tourism offerings and acknowledges that the state is all geared up for hosting KITE (Karnataka International Travel Expo) in August this year
Standing true to its tagline, ‘One State, Many Worlds’, Karnataka has truly embraced the idea of offering the opportunity to scribble your own adventure trail while showcasing the best of what the state has got in store for the travellers. Working in tandem with the theme “Script Your Adventure”, a new brand campaign TVC along with a print ad promotion and marketing collaterals, launched in February this year, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation has plans afoot to attract the travellers from both within and outside the country during the year 2019. As informed by Pushkar, the promotional video uploaded on the social media channels has crossed 2.5 million views in just seven days. Also in line with the theme, the state tourism is leveraging the best possibilities to give a shout out to the travellers around the world. To further encash on the diverse tourism opportunities in Karnataka, KSTDC recently concluded its promotional roadshows in the month of April recently.
“To boost the state tourism’s promotions and make the industry aware about the state’s offerings, we started with the roadshow in Mumbai and Goa in March and continued with the same in New Delhi and Lucknow in April. Our aim was to conduct B2B meetings to enable our key stakeholders to meet the travel industry and have fruitful linkages and also familiarise them with the various aspects of Karnataka such as nature, wildlife, adventure, pilgrimage, heritage and culture and many more. We further have plans to organise two roadshows every month, in different Indian cities. On the domestic front, we are also participating in the major travel marts across the country and has been an active participant of mostly all the major marts. On the international front, we participated in eight different European cities last year and this year, we plan to again exhibit there and add a couple more cities on our agenda. Overall, we also participated in five international travel marts. I am certain that these initiatives will actually help in giving us business, establishing contacts and boosting tourism,” Pushkar starts off.
“Talking about the connectivity front, Bangalore has become one of the most connected cities, internationally, ranked three in terms of international flights. Now the Mysore airport has also become functional, flights have also started from Hampi, connectivity to Chennai started last year and this year, we are expecting to start enhanced connectivity to Hyderabad and Kochi as well. Overall, the entire state is progressing fast in terms of connectivity and we are expecting to boost the same in the immediate future,” he further adds.
When asked about the strategies for promoting and developing the newer tourist segments, Pushkar highlights that the development of coastal tourism is on the cards. “Talking about this particular segment, the beaches here are virgin and unspoiled and have a lot to still explore, unlike the beaches of Kerala and Goa. We also have a lot of water-based activities including scuba diving and the houseboat concept has already come up in certain places and there is an array of other activities that have already gathered a lot of interest among the travellers. Apart from coastal tourism, a lot of eco trails are also getting developed where one can go for a walk in the forest areas. Adventure tourism is another segment that has picked up really well in the recent past and we are already working on a lot of initiatives to boost this potential segment.”
Further aiming at creating an ideal networking platform, Karnataka Tourism will be organising Karnataka International Travel Expo (KITE) 2019 from August 25 to 27 in Bengaluru. The travel expo will feature around 350 international and domestic buyers interact, network and do business with exhibitors and stakeholders from the state. Pushkar adds, “This is the first time we are going to organise an international level event in Karnataka. Since Kerala has already established its presence through KTM (Kerala Travel Mart), Karnataka also wanted to take a step forward. Keeping the vision in mind, the Chief Minister made its official announcement in the budget programme. Further, we are going to have B2B meetings where 100 international buyers and 250 domestic buyers will be present and around 150 sellers are expected to exhibit at the event. There will be post FAM tours for buyers as well. The show, overall, will help tourism achieve new heights in Karnataka and build relationships across the world”