The Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Culture has mandated CRISIL Infrastructure Advisory to ‘identify various factors that influence the tourist to visit Kerala as a preferred destination’ so that important lessons may be learnt and replicated in other states. The Terms of Reference of the study are as follows. 1. To conduct an in-depth study to identify the various factors influencing the tourist to visit Kerala as a preferred destination 2. To develop, as an outcome of the study, a role model that can be replicated in other states also.
To undertake the study through a combination of field survey and analysis of the available data from secondary sources 4. To identify the factors/strategies/action plans etc. of the government specifically in respect of the following areas: – Product/destination development – Infrastructure development – Marketing strategies in India and abroad – Public private partnership – Impact on local economy – Incentives/Concessions provided by the state government – State government initiatives to contain the negative impact of tourism – Any other factor contributing to the overall development of tourism in the state.
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This report has analysed all elements of the Kerala tourism sector, with a view to understanding the approach and strategy that has been adopted and the planning and policy that has preceded the significant development of tourism in the state. The executive summary presents an overall view of the report and the main recommendations. Chapter 1 examines the manner in which tourism development in Kerala over the past decade has impacted the economic and social development of the state, bringing about positive changes in its major economic indicators.
Kerala’s Approach to Tourism Development: A Case Study Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India Chapter 2 presents a detailed overview of the tourism developments in Kerala in terms of key dimensions and identified parameters in each dimension. It essentially profiles the Kerala tourism sector, with a special emphasis on initiatives and efforts that have been successfully undertaken by the government/other stakeholders, and the manner in which this has translated into results on the ground. Specific case studies highlight the efforts and initiatives that merit special consideration.
A primary survey of domestic and international tourists was undertaken to obtain direct feedback on certain critical and ‘soft’ aspects of tourism. These have been highlighted at appropriate places in the report, while a detailed report on the survey has been presented as part of the annexure to the study. Kerala has taken important and significant steps to align its tourism development with the demands of the international market and the global tourist. This effort has been multi-dimensional, covering both the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ aspects of tourism development.
It spans the creation of adequate infrastructure, simplification of procedures, an aggressive promotional campaign targeted at specific segments, and softer aspects that make a tourist feel wanted. Important lessons may be learnt from this effort and suitably replicated in the other states. This learning from Kerala has been summarized in Chapter 3 in the form of salient points. The learning that emerges out of the Kerala study can also be built into a strategic framework that may be usefully adapted by other Indian states.
We are equally thankful to the other key officials in Kerala Tourism, Shri T. O. Suraj, Director, Department of Tourism, Shri. M. N. Gunavardhanan, Managing Director, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, Shri. Mohan Kumar, MD, Tourism Resorts (Kerala) Limited, and Mr. Satheesh, MD, Kerala Shipping & Navigation Corporation, for the time given for discussions and the insights provided.
The private sector perspective was provided by key players in the sector: Mr. Jose Dominique, MD of the Casino Group, one of the oldest and greatest contributors to product development in the state, Mr.Salil Dutt, General Manager of the Taj Group and CEO of Taj Kerala Limited, who has been with the Taj Group for over 33 years and could provide valuable understanding of the Group’s role in Kerala, Mr. Najeeb, President of the Kerala Travel Mart Society and Chairman of the Great India Tour, and Mr. Roy Mathew, Director of Star Communications, the marketing agency heading Kerala’s promotional efforts. We are thankful to them for sharing so clearly their understanding of tourism development in the state.