Kerala, God’s own country attracts a lot of foreign as well as domestic tourists because of its unique natural beauty and cultural highness. No other states in India can boast such scenic abundance, idyllic luxury of relaxing backwaters, lip-smacking delicacies and cultural uniqueness.
Does Kerala still able to utilise its potential as a major tourism destination?
Definitely, it does to a great extend. This is very clear from the statistics report by Kerala tourism department. http://kerala.gov.in/docs/reports/vision2030/11.pdf
Still there are lot of reasons for us to think that Kerala got more potential to rise itself as a prime tourist destination.
Foreign tourists coming to Kerala
As per the tourism department’s statistics, around 50% the international tourists arriving Kerala are just from 5 countries – UK, USA, Germany, France and Australia.
As per the tourism department’s policy 2012 (http://www.ecotourismsocietyofindia.org/file/State%20Policies/Kerala%20Tourism%20Policy.pdf), Kerala still need to tap the tourists from these countries.The effort from Kerala tourism department to reach the global customers helped a lot to get foreign tourists to Kerala. But still we can make out some missing components here. The important one among them is a well implemented website for travellers to search, learn and book holiday products in a seamless manner.
Why online booking important?
Sources show that there is 60 % increase in the online travel booking worldwide from 2006 – 2011.
Especially if you consider the countries from where most tourists come to Kerala, the online tourism booking got a high demand.
So what so-called well planned website should deliver?
- A unified website – A single market place where various tour operators can list their holiday products. This will help tourists to go to a common place and book it from there.
- Connect travellers to tour operators directly – A platform which connect the travellers directly to tour operators ditching the costly middlemen.
- An end to end online booking facility – A platform where travellers can search, learn and book online using credit card or debit card.
- Travellers can create packages – Normally the tour websites to Kerala offer holiday packages created by tour operators. These packages may not be what travellers looking for. So a smart website should be something which helps them to create packages themselves.
- A trusted partner – Travellers require a trusted partner which should make sure that their booking amount is safe and someone who can verify the offered services.
- Its not all about tourists – It is very important that the website should consider all the local market conditions of Kerala tourism market. It should empower the tour operators to sell their products in a smart and realist way. Our study shows that lot of options available in the local tourism Industry are not available for online booking – eg : A day cruise in a houseboat.
- Contemporary – Scalable, contemporary design using the new technology sets available in the industry.
All the above points were considered very carefully in the design of www.backwaterbreaks.com. It connects tourists with local tourist operators in Kerala, were tourists can book their Kerala holiday packages at local market price and tour operators can reach the global customers in a cost effective way.
Disclaimer – The author works for backwaterbreaks.com.