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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY A STUDY ON MARKETING PROSPECTS FOR SELECTED TOURIST PLACES IN KERALA

Tourism being a smokeless industry is now a multi-billion, multi-sectoral and multidimensional activity in the world. Twenty first century tourism has reached up to space when a Russian rocket carried the space vehicle of Dennis Tito, an American businessman and the worlds first space tourist, to the space station. Tourism is being considered as an agent of social change bridging gaps among nations, regions and people and helping them to open up. It is a promoter of development- material and spiritual both at macro and micro level. The resolution adopted by the UN General assembly read tourism is a basic and most desirable human activity deserving the praise and encouragement of all people and all governments. The objective of this study is to assess three prospective tourist places in Kerala (Konni, Krishnapuram palace and Panieli Poru) and to analyze the promotional strategies for developing tourism for the same, which has got good prospects to develop as premier tourist places in Kerala. An assessment of the existing scenario of the tourism sector and an analysis of the major challenges facing by the tourism sector of Kerala are the other objectives. A self administered questionnaire using a non- probability sampling method named judgment sampling has been administered among 120 tourists (including 10 foreign tourists and 12 tourists from other Indian states) who have visited Kerala in the past two years. An interview schedule was also prepared and information was collected from 25 travel agents and tour operators. The data is analyzed and evaluated using descriptive statistics by employing various graphical representations, tabular descriptions and summary statistics. The study revealed that most of the tourists who are visiting Kerala are domestic tourists, who are normally conducting day trips during holidays or weekends. Majority of tourists from other Indian states visits for 3 to 4 days and foreign tourists stays at least for a week. The study revealed that the already established tourist places in Kerala are highly regarded by tourists and many promotional measures have been taken. From the study it was found that the local or native tourists also play a critical role in generating tourism revenue for the state. The study indicates the importance of word of mouth in promoting prospective tourist places than advertising. It was found that little promotional measures have been undertaken to promote these three prospective tourist places and they are known only to people who stay nearer to these places. About 95 per cent people who have already visited these three places got information about the places through their family, friends or relatives, which indicates the role of word of 1

mouth in promoting tourism in these three places. It was also found that the tour operators and travel agents have very good opinion about these three places. They stated that if proper promotion is done for the three places, it can emerge as premier tourist hubs. The major recommendations of the study include creation of effective promotional campaigns for the three prospective tourist places by creating USPs and use of word of mouth marketing. Aggressive promotion of these three places based on their attractiveness and leisure activties, setting up information centres, publish new brochures, conducting tourism fairs in foreign countries especially in Asian and African countries and in other Indian states and most importantly taking intiatives for additonal recreational and leisure developmental activities in these places is also recommended. The immediate action in order to raise the standards of basic services (hotels, cleanliness and toilet facilties) is also recommended. It is recommended that the tourism deaprtment has to join hands with private entrepreneurs to start new ventures like budget hotels and restaurants in these three places to offer a unique and differentiating experience for the tourists. It is also recommended that other promotional factors like designing Kerala theme based contests to attract domestic tourists, circulating marketing brochure in Indian and international flights etc can be the effective methods to attract more customers to the three tourist places. This study is organized into five chapters. The first chapter introduces the study by including the purpose of the study, objectives, mode of analysis etc. the second chapter presents the reviews of related literature. The third chapter details the research methods adopted for the study. The fourth chapter presents the analysis carried out and the fifth chapter illustrates the findings, conclusion and the recommendations.

CHAPTER 1
2

INTRODUCTION
Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Modern transportation has removed the obstacles of distances in tourism as people are ready to explore places anywhere in the globe because of easy accessible travel options. Tourism helps overcome real prejudices and foster bonds among people from different countries. Tourism is vital for many countries, as it is a major source of income for many EU countries, Egypt, Greece, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, many south Asian countries like India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and many island nations such as the Caribbean islands and islands in the Indian ocean. The service industries such as transportation services i.e. airlines, cruise ships and taxis, hospitality services such as accommodations, including hotels and resorts and entertainment venues and the theatre etc will also be benefited because of tourism. Global tourism industry World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is the forum for business leaders in the travel and tourism industry. It addresses the challenges and opportunities that affect all sectors of the industry globally. It works to raise awareness of travel and tourism as one of the worlds largest industries. World Tourism is almost a US$ 950 billion business (in 2008)1. One out of ten people in the world is a traveler. Tourism industry contributes 10.9 per cent to the worlds Gross National Product (GNP) and employees over 250 million people accounting for 11.2 per cent of the global work force. Annually, 595 million tourists across the world purchase goods and services worth US$ 3.6 trillion which is 10.69 per cent of the gross global product. According to world tourism ranking, three top most countries visited are, United States, Spain and France.2 Indian tourism industry Tourism which has a very developing prospect in India has got momentum and tourism in India has started growing with considerable pace. India is being fabulous country offering almost all the tourism products available under a single roof or destination. From marvelous beaches to exotic hills, from oldest civilization to the youngest archetype shift, everything is available in India and this industry of tourism is really offering challenging and very bright future to the people of India. It is estimated that India generated US$ 61 billion as per the report of WTTC for the year 2007 through the tourism industry. It is expected to grow at a rate of 8.7 per cent in the

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www.wttc.org/2008, accessed on 25th June 2010 www.incredibleindia.com/ UNWTO barometer June 2009, accessed on 25th June 2010 3

coming years and is expected to contribute 2.2 per cent to the GDP. 5.5 per cent of the total population will be engaged in travel and tourism industry3. Tourism industry in Kerala Kerala is the most sought after tourist destination in India. Kerala has a number of tourist places which will attract tourists from all over the world. Kerala has excellent tourism infrastructure that makes the state popular among tourists. The major hallmarks of Kerala tourism are Ayurveda, back water tourism, hill stations, eco tourism and sandy beaches which is surrounded by palm and coconut trees. Tourism is also one of the major sources of income for the state. The major tourist attractive places in Kerala are Periyar wildlife sanctuary, the tea and spice plantations in Munnar, the back water tourism at Kumarakom and Alapuzha and the sandy beaches of Kovalam, Kochi and Kozhikode and the eco tourism at Wayanad. Some of the popular tourist places in Kerala include Kovalam, Trivandrum, Kochi, Alapuzha, Thekkady, and Kozhikode, Thrissur, Palakkad, Wayanad, Munnar and other places in Idukky. Kerala is famous for eco tourism initiatives and growing at a rate of 13.81 per cent. Tourism industry contributes US$ 2.86 billion in the year 2008, an increase of 14.84 per cent over the previous year4. In the year 2008, 23.57 per cent of total foreigners visited were from UK, France and Germany and USA5. Kerala became 50 must see places in the lifetime to visit (National Geographic Travel, 2004) and also awarded in super brand award for 101 strongest brands in India by super brands India in the year 20096. Kerala tourism bagged several, international, national and state awards which made Kerala Tourism a super brand in tourism and hospitality. In recent time tourism emerged as the major revenue generating business to government of Kerala. This contributes significantly towards the growth of Kerala state providing employability and overall productivity of the state. Tourism has contributed almost eight per cent of the total employment directly and indirectly. The most important turning point taken by Kerala state was the private-public partnership to promote tourism in Kerala.

1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT


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www.wttc.org/eng/tourism_intiatives/India, accessed on 25th June 2010 www.keralatourism.org/tourismstatistics/Tourist-statistics2008.pdf, www.keralatourism.org/tourismstatistics.php, accessed on 25th June 2010 www.keralatourism.org/awards.php, accessed on 25th June 2010 4

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A major problem facing the travel industry now is that the government leaders and economists who influence government policies do not exactly know the enormous economic impact of tourism. The Indian tourism industry is facing some major issues which are hampering its growth. Some of the major issues are Non- Implementation of legislative law, excessive formalities for an issue of special permit to view restricted sites, untrained guides and shepras, communication and culture problems, lack of tourism information centers etc. Despite the huge prospect for developing as a premier tourist destination, the tourism industry of Kerala is facing many challenges and threats that hamper its growth. Some of these obstacles are the untrained guides, lack of security measures, lack of infrastructure (roads, flyovers, tele communication and virtual network), lack of enough information centers etc. The state Tourism department has taken up many activities like conducting tourism fairs in other states and foreign countries, developing the eco tourism spots and promoting the health care tourism along with private entrepreneurs etc to ensure that the state will hold its name as one of the most wanted tourist destination. The tourism industry in Kerala has many more prospective tourist places which are not that much popular among tourists or yet to be fully explored.

1.2 PURPOSE OF STUDY


The study is an attempt at assessing three prospective tourist places in Kerala (Konni, Krishnapuram palace and Panieli Poru) and to analyze the promotional strategies for developing tourism for the same.

1.3 OBJECTIVES
1. To assess an existing scenario of the tourism sector in Kerala. 2. To analyze the major challenges faced by the Kerala tourism industry. 3. To assess the marketing prospects for the three tourist places under study.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS


1. How to tackle the major challenges faced by the Kerala tourism industry? 2. How to develop the prospective unexplored tourist places into premier tourism hubs? 3. How the areas under study can be promoted as tourist places?

1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS


This study is confined to selected tourist places in Kerala. Due to time constraints, only 3 prospective tourist places in Kerala (Konni, Krishnapuram Palace and Panieli Poru) have been considered. Hence the results may not be generalized. Given the changes in tourist behavior, the study may be valid only for the study period.

CHAPTER 2
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LITERATURE REVIEW
The tourism industry all over the world is growing at a very rapid pace. Never in the history of the world has there been a migration of people from one country to another on such a scale as it is taking place today. Worldwide spending for domestic and foreign travel in 2008 is estimated to be US$ 950 billion, considerably what the world is spending on arms. It represents six per cent of the worlds gross product. In USA, spending for domestic and international travel is far more than the US government spends on national defense. Tourism is the third largest retail industry in the USA and is the top employer in most of the states. Tourism is the largest service industry in India, with a contribution of 6.23 per cent to the national GDP and 8.78 per cent of the total employment in India witnesses more than five million annual foreign tourists arrivals and 562 million domestic tourism visits 7. The tourism industry in India generated about US$ 100 billion in 2008 and is expected to increase to US$ 275.5 billion by 2018 at a 9.4 % annual growth rate8. Kerala is one of the most premier tourist destinations of India because of its rich flora and fauna. As early as 1991, Bhatia A.K had published a book on International Tourism in which he has described tourism as a great economic and social force. He also explained that, like any other industry the tourism industry is also subject to rigors like planning, marketing and promotion. Marketing assumes a rather special significance because of the competitive nature of the tourist industry. The need for trained manpower in the tourism sector assumes a great importance to maintain high professional standards. In 1992, Maneet Kumar had published a book on Tourism Today-An Indian perspective and explained that effective management of tourism will involve a range of techniques including marketing and publicity, information and interpretation as well as planning control and traffic management. This means tourism involves people, places and planning a facility in harmony with its environments. These two books show that studies have been undertaken on tourism in India from the past two decades. Marketing is the creative management function which promotes trade and employment by assessing consumer needs and initiating research and development to meet them. Marketing is defined as those activities which direct the flow of goods and services from production to consumption. As the travel business improved and expanded, it became necessary for
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incredibleindia.org/Tourism_Statistics2008.pdf, accessed on 28th June 2010 www.ibef.org/industry/Tourism & Hospitality/May 2010, accessed on 28th June 2010 7

businessmen dealing in tourism to apply principles of marketing to the sale of the travel product. Although the general principles of marketing which have proved effective and successful in the marketing of other products would be applicable to the marketing of the tourist product, there are some differences. The tourism product cannot be transported to the consumer. It is the consumer who comes to the product to consume it. The travel agent or the tour operator who sells his product cannot stock it. Moreover the tourism product cannot be stored and held in abeyance. Hence, occupancy ratios and load factors are often mentioned in tourism marketing discussions. A wide range of services which the tourist requires and which constitute the tourism product in his mind cannot be provided by a single enterprise. Each of its components needs a high degree of specialization and every enterprise produces only a part of the final product. Marketing of tourism is further complicated by the relationship between supply and demand. Supply is inelastic as considerable fixed investment is required to expand it and highly trained man power is needed to operate it. Tourism demand is also highly unstable. Seasonal factors can affect it. Political unrest and economic instability caused by inflation and currency fluctuations can damage it. Trade intermediaries in tourism- travel agents, tour operators, charter brokers- are powerful factors in the marketing of the tourist product. They have the bargaining power in relation to the suppliers of tourist services. They can even influence the choice of a holiday destination. Tourism marketing, therefore, comprises the following: Fact finding, data gathering and analysis(market research), communication to inform and promote(tourist promotion), ensuring and facilitating sale, selection of market planning(distribution), co-ordination, control and evaluation( marketing plan). In this chapter the literature review is presented in three parts which consists of the conceptual review, followed by the empirical evidence and contextual review of relevant existing literature in the areas of destination marketing and branding and other relevant articles and studies relating to the tourism industry all over the world.

2.1 Conceptual Review


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Report

of

the

Working
9

Group

on

Tourism

2001,

State

Planning

Board,

Thiruvanathapuram

The State Palnning Board (SPB) constituted a plan committee on physical infrastructure and Tourism in November, 2001. The major findings/ recommendations of the working group are: 1) KTDC should operate on its own terms without support by the government. 2) The BRDC should be supported in Tenth Plan too. 3) Government support to joint sector projects have to be dropped. 4) An independent evaluation of the working of DTPC and the performance of KITTS has to be made. 5) Improve the collection of tourist statistics. 6) Selective publicity, performance audit and marketing programmes by a professional agency. 7) The development of basic infrastructure should be the thrust area for tourism in the tenth plan. 8) Privatize state guest houses. 9) Incentives and tax holiday to tourism units are to be offered. 10) Re-define the role of the DOT and concentrate on tourism planning. DESTINATON ATTRACTIVENESS OF KERALA AS AN INTERNATIONAL

TOURIST DESTINATION Manoj Edward and Babu P George10 in their study stated the major attractive destinations and facts of the tourism sector in Kerala. Tourism has emerged as a lead sector of the Kerala economy, with its impact increasing in terms of economic and employment generation. The state government views tourism as one of the few
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www.keralagov.co.in/Report of the Working Group on Tourism, SPB, Nov 2001 Destination Attractiveness of Kerala as an International Tourist Destination by Manoj

10

Edward and Babu P George, Conference on Tourism in India- Challenges Ahead, May 2008, IIMK 9

alternatives available to develop the economy, especially in the context of limited prospects of the manufacturing sector, problems in agricultural and traditional sectors, and the uncertainties facing the expatriate employment in the Persian Gulf. Kerala is now considered as a tourism model for other states in India to emulate its growth. Tourism industry in Kerala witnessed considerable growth during nineties and beyond and is expected to grow further in the future. Kerala is one of the earliest Indian states to announce industry status for tourism in 1986 and announce various incentives and subsidies to attract investment. The growth of domestic and international tourism in Kerala and its relative position in the Indian tourism in the recent past is depicted in tables 2.1 and 2.2

Year 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006

International Tourists 104568 176855 189941 209893 232564 345546 428534

Domestic Tourists 1284375 4403002 4481714 5013221 5568256 5972182 6271724

Year 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004

India 1886433 2287860 2358629 2649378 2384364 3367980

Kerala 104568 176855 189941 209893 232564 345546

% Share 5.54 7.73 7.68 7.92 9.75 10.26

Table 2.1 International and Domestic tourists arrivals*

Table 2.2 Keralas share of foreign tourists*

(*Source: Department of Tourism, Kerala) Tourism is also counted as an important alternative to address unemployment which is a major problem facing the state. Other reasons making tourism industry attractive for the state includes, its strong linkages with other sectors in the state, and its potential for generating benefits more widespread throughout the state for a given level of capital investment compared to other sectors. There is a strong multiplier effect for tourism industry in the state for both output multiplier and employment multiplier. With regard for employment generation in the state, travel and tourism industry is expected to create 7.5 lakhs jobs in the next 10 years and the broader impact of it on the economy can create 1.4 million jobs during this period.

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The authors also stated that, beaches, climate, cuisines, culture and rest and relax environment are the prime destination attractions of the Kerala tourism industry. Other prime tourist destination attractions according to the studies are wildlife, Ayurveda, heritage sites, art/craft forms, hill stations, backwaters, shopping, nightlife, adventure and fun activities and accommodation standards. Table 2.3 Importance-Performance Means Destination Attraction Beaches Wildlife Climate Ayurveda Cuisine heritage sites art/craft forms hill stations Backwaters Shopping Nightlife Adventure & fun activities rest and relax environment accommodation standards local culture Mean Importance 4.11 3.47 4.34 3.00 4.04 3.66 3.79 3.02 3.81 3.14 2.22 2.71 4.5 3.4 4.4 Mean Performance 2.83 2.57 3.38 3.09 3.21 2.34 2.86 3.10 3.47 2.46 2.07 2.44 3.13 2.73 2.95

Market positioning of Kerala tourism11 Backwater is the major attraction of Kerala, however enjoying beaches with power of Ayurveda is the attraction which distinguishes Kerala tourism from others. The other aspect of Kerala is
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Sanil Subhash Chandra Bose, Kerala Tourism- Marketing Management, Nov 2009, 11

www.jamaceo.com, accessed on 16th Aug 2010

the eco tourism initiatives by Kerala in 2007. Kerala is now trying to brand the medical tourism which is very attractive because of efficient medical care in Kerala. Another major initiative is the branding of traditional art forms like Kathakali, Theyyam etc. Boat race in the back water of Kerala is another distinguishable product for Kerala tourism. Another major offering is monsoon tourism during monsoons. Advertising innovation is another main criterion that distinguishes Kerala tourism. Kerala tourism is doing innovative and vibrant advertising campaign in mass media and also direct media up-to an extent. KERALA BACKWATERS- THE HIGHLIGHT OF KERALA TOURISM Abhay Dev12 in his article has highlighted the importance of Backwater tourism as the new trend in the Kerala Tourism industry. The author stated that the reason for the boom in the Kerala tourism is because of the gracing of the Arabian Sea on the west to give the state many beaches and hill stations on the Western Ghats. The author also stated that the highlight of the tourism in Kerala is its backwaters and beaches. There are a variety of beaches and backwaters in the state like Fort Kochi, Fort Bekal, Kumarakom, Kovalam, Varkala, Kottayam, Kuttanad, Kollam, Kozhikode, Trivandrum, Tiruvallam and much more. Because of the presence of these backwater destinations, tourism sector in Kerala is growing at a consistent pace. These Backwater destinations consist of mesmerizing resorts which includes house boats (ketuvallams), multi cuisine foods and ayurvedic and rejuvenating treatments etc. The author also stated that a ride in a well organized house boat will take the tourists into the world of wonder and joy. Tourists can take a fascinating view of the green rice fields, the exotic beauty, lovely villages, coconut groves, temples, waterfalls etc from the deck of the boat. The backwater tourism is gaining its importance in the tourism industry of the state and undoubtedly within a few years, backwater tourism will become the highlight of the tourism industry in Kerala. Destination Branding Branding is about helping destinations to harness their USP to promote their attractive features by building a brand. Building a brand is a local process but destination advertising is crucial where brand has been developed to position the destination firmly in the target markets. Destination Branding is about combining those things associated with a place and destination.
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Abhay Dev, Kerala Backwater Tourism,www.articlesbase.com/travel-articles/kerala12

backwater-tourism-1342831.html, accessed on 28th June 2010

This includes all of its products and services like agriculture, tourism, sports, arts, investment, technology, education etc. RE-IMAGING A DESTINATION- THE CASE OF SCOTLAND The article13 which was published by STB and Visit Scotland (VS) in Scottish tourism website illustrates the case of Scotland which has re-imaged and re-positioned itself as a destination. Scotland has an international and domestic image as a destination, but by 2000, visitor numbers were declining and tourism industry critics were pointing to the ineffective marketing and promotion by the national tourism organization the STB. After a government review and reassessment of Scotlands tourism organizations and product, the Minister for Tourism launched a Tourism framework for action in 2002. This combined with the newly re-formed VISIT SCOTLAND (VS), to replace STB and re launch Scotlands tourism products. Based on extensive research in 2001/2002, VS examined the reasons why visitors came to Scotland, the countrys values as a brand with the importance of icons such as whisky, tartan, golf, a rich imagery and powerful associations and helped VS to create four core values: integrity, pride, proficiency and innovation. The marketing and promotional campaigns were through television, cinemas, and press and poster promotions. This was underpinned by more specialist campaigns focused on Scotlands product portfolio like Active Scotland with walking , cycling and extreme sports, Freedom of Scotland, touring and wildlife viewing, business tourism, conferences, shopping, nightlife and restaurants and culture and heritage, with festivals, heritage, arts, museum, galleries etc The whole process helps to focus tourism marketing efforts, while the reimagining exercise has helped to build a more defined market position, a clearer consumer focus and enhanced status for tourism in Scotland as a key element of the economy. Part of this process is also the improvement of quality and continuous innovation. The VS board, clearly re- positioned Scotland as a tourist center known for both adventure tourism as well as for culture and heritage tourism. This article provides an example for how to re- position the lost image of a highly potential tourist destination.

2.2 Empirical review


STUDY ON IMPROVING THE POTENTIAL OF RURAL TOURISM IN KERALA
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Adapted from www.scotexchange.net/know your market, 2004, accessed on 15th July 2010 13

In this article which is presented by Jubin Joy John, Hari Sundar.G, Anoop Das and Ravikrishnan14, various measures to improve rural tourism in Kerala have been stated. The research work done on the above mentioned article revealed that there are number of potential tourist places in Kerala which are yet to be explored but have not been explored as yet and have got great prospects for development. Rural tourism industry can contribute to economic development, infrastructure development, employment generation, community development, restoration of culture, environmental preservation and promotion of harmony and understanding. According to the authors, rural tourism industry has rich variety of history, heritage, natural based, medication based, religious based, cultural based and manmade kind of products, which have got a great potential with development of tourism, also if certain constraint are removed this could be developed to their fullest extent. According to the study, there are a lot of major factors that hampers the growth of these prospective tourism places in Kerala. Some major factors are poor infrastructure, lack of public and political will, lack of social awareness, political games, illiteracy and ecological disturbance, improper tourism marketing, lack of proper planning, instability of the government, less allocation for tourism infrastructure and technological backwardness, attitude of people due to unawareness, absence of people participation, absence of supporting industry like food, transportation and accommodation etc. Challenges in rural tourism The research by these authors revealed that the major problem in the rural area is that there is very little opportunity for working. Other major challenges includes need to preserve the environment and natural resources, the need for education, proper understanding for both tourists and local people, and the need to generate a democratic movement which helps people at all levels to participate in tourism development. They also emphasize the need to be given on occupation training, handicraft promotion and improvement of both the landscape and the basic infrastructure. The co-operative system in rural tourism can be an effective approach in bringing positive impact in rural areas. Local people can monitor and control the negative impacts of tourism on their own society, if they have an equal stake and authority in management and development.

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Study on Improving the potential for Rural Tourism in Kerala by Jubin Joy John, Hari

Sundar, Anoop Das and Ravikrishnan ,Conference on Tourism in India- Challenges Ahead, May 2008, IIMK 14

The study revealed that essential elements for development of rural tourism are, creation of infrastructure, restructuring and liberalization of policies, encouragement for investment, law and order, tourist police, complaints handling, standardization of goods and services and government support. Government should recognize the importance of rural tourism at priority and should help in creating healthy competitive business environment. Government should try to generate data for decision making bodies investing for developing the human resources, create adequate facilities and suitable infrastructure like accommodation, roads, airport facilities, rail facilities, local transport, communication links and other essential amenities become essential for rural tourism. Other essential services required for rural tourism are strategic planning, investment in new technology and protection of natural resources, local heritage and lifestyles, promotion of traditional tourism products, collaboration of information requirements and setting of environmental policy goals. THE MARKETING AND PROMOTION OF BERLIN AS A TOURIST DESTINATIONA CASE STUDY The article15 which was published in the Berlin tourism directory by the Berlin tourism authorities focuses on the marketing efforts and promotional techniques to develop Berlin as a tourist destination. Since the fall of Berlin wall, Berlin tourism marketing authorities has had the task of promoting Berlin as a tourist destination. Berlin is among the most visited cities in Germany and was designated a world heritage site in 1999 by UNESCO. The city has over 170 museums and 400 art galleries making it an art and culture city. The article includes how Berlin tourismus (BT) works with other tourism partners in the city to market and promote it. BT developed products suitable for the citys tourism markets and the provision of information on the range of attractions in partnership with the local tourism industry. BT has promoted Berlin as a tourist destination, using a themed campaign supported by seasonal marketing and PR campaigns to create an internationally recognizable image amongst consumers and the tourism sector. The most recent campaign- Berlin, Berlin, were going to Berlin was developed in 2007, with a budget of eight million Euros. It sought to showcase Berlins cultural landscape in a glossy and emotionally appealing manner using images of a fascinating metropolis. The campaign identified a number of theme elements like entertainment, opera, arts and heritage. The
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Adapted from www.berlin-tourism.com,www.fahren-nach-berln.de, 2008, accessed on 15th 15

Aug 2010

promotion uses a wide range of communication mechanisms such as print media, online media, additional PR campaigns and joint efforts with partners. The promotional campaigns clearly focused on a particular target segment, which was one of the main reasons why the promotional campaign became a huge success. The article clearly shows about the importance of marketing a particular destination to a specific target group, because the message can be conveyed properly and clearly. The article also shows how a destination like Berlin was marketed based on its cultural landscapes, arts and heritages. The article also demonstrates how media and print campaigns were effectively used to promote a tourist destination. All these above mentioned factors can be used to promote prospective tourist places. MARKETING INTERVATIONS FOR TOURISM PROMOTION A CASE STUDY ON AGRA Prof Devashish Das Gupta16 in his article analyzed the present situation of the tourism industry in Agra and also recommended the possible suggestions for better promotion and marketing of Agra tourism industry. Agra is the city of the inimitable Taj mahal. The place has got excellent infrastructure opportunities but certain factors are hampering the growth prospects of the place. According to the author, Agra represents the best and worst of India. The city is a daunting sensory experience for even the most hardened traveler because of foul streets and polluted air. Other problems haunting the city is rampant unemployment and no avenues for employment, poor city infrastructure, pathetic law and order situations, lack of information centers to make tourists aware about historical sites other than Taj, no proper civilian airport, very small and ill maintained railway stations, erratic electric and water supply. The author stated that 97 per cent of foreign tourists come to Agra to visit Taj mahal. The author proposed various recommendations to improve the quality of service offered to tourists visiting Agra and also to promote Agra as an International Brand. The first step is to target the appropriate segment because it is very important to focus on an appropriate target segment. The second step is to give emphasize for vacation travelling and promote the place as a vacation travelling destination. Vacation travelling has emerged as a special leisure time. Unlike adventure tourism and other types of tourism, no special designing, construction etc is to be undertaken to market the tourism destination as a vacation travelling destination. The third step
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Marketing interventions for Tourism Promotion by Prof. Devashish Das Gupta, 16

Conference on Tourism in India- Challenges Ahead, May 2008, IIMK

is to create an experience differentiation by repositioning some more historical sites like Agra fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Other developmental activities like building more shopping avenues and more internal marketing strategies to attract domestic tourists will help to create a favorable brand image for Agra. The author concluded by stating that Agra and Taj are international brands. Proper brand management is needed to make them economically successful. It is just not possible to do this with mere pamphlets and tourist offices. Reputed agencies should be hired for the image management of the city and its heritage. It is very much essential to do these developmental activities in Agra because Agra is one of the few places in India where the arrival of foreign tourists is more than the domestic tourists. So it is critical to development a favorable brand image and promotion for Agra, which in turn can attract more foreign tourists. FROM A DESERT TO DREAMLAND- A CASE OF SUCCESSFUL DESTINATION MARKETING OF DUBAI Julie Vardhan17 in her article stated the case of successful destination marketing of Dubai and the emergence of Dubai as a premier tourist destination. Stuck between Europe and Asia, buttressed by Africa, Dubai is the second largest of the seven United Arab Emirates. A decade ago Dubai had only oil reserves to look after its economy. Before the discovery of Oil in 1966, Dubais major revenues come from Pearls. By 1990, Dubai decided to invest in real estate and finance, mixed with a serious emphasis on resort tourism in order to shift their revenue sources towards the tourism sector. This change paid off, as the country become one of the most preferred destination for tourists. Dubai is one of the few countries in the world where the tourism industry is having a direct impact on the real estate investment as many European and American countries copied this strategy later i.e. a mixture of tourism development and Real estate investment with the joint collaboration of private entrepreneurs. Initially, Dubai had to eliminate various obstacles in promoting their tourism industry. Some of them are poor accessibility, laws and regulations, perceived lack of conventional attractions and limited promotions etc. But Dubais tourism authorities have invested heavily in expensive facilities, collaborating with private entrepreneurs as well as have undertaken extensive marketing and the outcome has been strong growth in tourism. Now Dubais GDP comes from tourism than from oil. As a destination, tourism now represents 22 per cent of the states GDP and is three times higher than that of oil.
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From a desert to a dreamland- A case of successful destination marketing, by Julie 17

Vardhan, Conference on Tourism in India- Challenges Ahead, May 2008, IIMK

Some of the practices that helped in developing the destination marketing for Dubai are: Developing a powerful and unique value proportion to urge tourists to select the city over numerous alternatives. Visitor profiling to understand the tourists preferences and purchasing behavior. Providing for the education of tourism part citizens, institutions, airlines, hotels, etc and the facilitation of coordination. Perennially laboring to improve the diversity of destinations offerings Creating compelling reasons to visit in the off-season.

2.3 Contextual review


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF ECO TOURISM IN KERALA The researcher B. Vijayakumar18 in his research on the topic Sustainable Development of Eco Tourism in Kerala commented that, eco tourism implies an enjoyment of natures bounty as well as understanding the culture and natural history of the environment. His thesis mainly stressed the promotion of eco tourism in Kerala as it cares the conservation of the eco-system, while respecting the environment. Eco tourism is a new concept in tourism. It is a purposeful travel to natural areas to understand the cultural and natural history of environment, taking care not to alter the integrity of the ecosystem, while producing economic opportunities that make the conservation of natural resources beneficial to local people. Keralas Eco tourism Initiatives Kerala offers the maximum potential for the promotion of eco tourism. In Kerala, 56 places have been identified for development as eco tourism spots giving emphasis to conservation, ecological sustainability, environmental education and local community benefits. Keeping this objective in mind the Kerala tourism has set up a separate eco tourism wing to give policy support for the development of the eco tourism spots in the state. The potential eco tourism spots identified in the forests of Kerala are Agastyavarnam Biological Park, Neyyar, Peppara, Ponmudi and Arippa in Thiruvanathapuram district, Thenmala, Kulathupuzha, Achankovil and
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Sustainable development of Eco-tourism in Kerala, by B Vijayakumar, Department of Future 18

studies, University of Thiruvanathapuram, 2001

Palaruvi in Kollam district, Konni, Pamba and Kochupamba in Pathanamthitta district, Purakkad in Alapuzha district, Kumarakom in Kottayam district, Peerumedu , Kuttikkanam, Thekkady, Munnar, Eravikulam, Idukky, Thommankuthu and Chinnar in Idukky district, Bhoothankettu, Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Mangalavanam and Kodanad in Ernakulum district, Athirapally, Vazhachal, Chimmony, Peechi, Vazhani and Sholayar in Thrissur district, Chullannoor, Nelliyampathy, Silent Valley, Parambikulam, Malampuzha and Walayar in Palakkad district, Nilambur and Nedumkayam in Malappuram District, Kakkayam, Peruvannamuzhy and Chaliyam in Kozhikode district, Tholpetti, Muthanga, Kuruva Islands, Thirunelli, Banasurakotta, Vellarimala and Mananthavadi in Wayanad district, Pythalmala, Aralam, Kottiyoor and Mangrove bases ecotourism, Kannur in Kannur district and Ranipuram and Parappa in Kasargode district. These 56 places can be developed as premier eco tourism spots giving emphasis to conservation and environmental education. The products such as trekking, bird watching, trails etc. can be developed and operationalised through the constitution of Eco-development committees/Participatory Forest management Committees, Vana Samrakshana Samithi (VSS), thereby ensuring local benefits from eco tourism. Forest department has already evolved expertise in the formulation of Eco-Development Committees and VSS through institutionalized means. This will help in channelizing the benefits of ecotourism to the local people, which will ultimately elicit support of local community for forest protection. The tourism department and Forest department together had already completed 17 eco tourism projects in Kerala and more than 12 eco tourism projects at present are under work in progress. The notable finished eco tourism projects in the state are Thenmala Eco tourism project and Konni Eco tourism project. Thenmala eco tourism is the first planned eco tourism spot in India, which is located in the foothills of Western Ghats in Kollam district which was inaugurated in January 2001. Thenmala offers products for both general tourists as well as for eco tourists. The Konni eco tourism project is situated in Pathanamthitta district and forms part of forest tracts of Western Ghats. Other notable eco tourism projects are eco tourism programmes at Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kallar Eco tourism project, Thommankuthu Eco tourism, Palaruvi Eco tourism, and Eco tourism programmes in Eravikulam National park, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Neyyar and Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The notable eco tourism projects which are under work in progress are Eco tourism programmes at Nelliyampathy, Pythalmala Eco tourism project, Nilambur Eco tourism project, Eco tourism programmes at Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary and Eco tourism projects at Peruvannamuzhy and Kakkayam. 19

BULDING A GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE BRAND FOR INDIAN TOURISM- THE ROAD AHEAD Hory Sanker Mukerjee and Vedha Balaji19 in their study stated the importance of building a globally competitive brand for Indian Tourism for the development and promotion of the tourism sector in India. It is estimated that India generated US$ 61 billion as per the report of WTTC for the year 2007 through the tourism industry. India has the potential to become the number one tourist destination in the world with the demand growing at 10.1 per cent per annum, according to the WTTC. The earlier setbacks in global tourism have strengthened the Department of Tourisms resolve to promote Indias tourism through aggressive marketing strategies. Introspection into Indian tourism There is a lot of interest in India as prospective tourist destination. What is needed is a strategy to market India. Medical tourism is emerging as a major area with a huge potential. The government should take advantage of this opportunity and improve the medical and general infrastructure for encouraging medical tourism. The development efforts in India depend upon an integrated infrastructure of national and international highways, railways, ports, civil aviation, telecommunication, hotel accommodation and allied services. Inadequacies of such infrastructural facilities adversely have affected our tourism industry. The authors stated that India should market itself as a value added destination stressing its variety and cost effectiveness. Satisfaction of the tourist, thereby ensuring repeat visits should be the top priority of the tourist industry. Apart from infrastructural development, the industry requires an environment of peace and stability where the tourist is sure of his safety and security. The authors also stated that in order to build the brand INDIA-the road ahead, some key steps like protecting the nature and physical environment, building more hotels and better infrastructure, re-orientation of tourist product design and marketing, removing the security risks and crisis etc has to be taken. The need for a successful brand of the country can only be build if there is sustained effort from the people and the government. It is very essential to understand that the success will depend upon the participation of the state, central and the local
19

Building a globally competitive Brand for Indian Tourism- The road ahead, by Hory Shankar

Mukerjee and Vedha Balaji, Conference on Tourism in India- Challenges Ahead, May 2008, IIMK 20

governments. The main challenge is marketing to our people because we have not done that job to the very best. The dynamics of global tourism and the increasing demands from tourists also requires re-alignment of our products. The authors concluded by stating that flexibility has to be made in our policies, faster actions, better infrastructure, which is a must for the Indian tourism industry. Incredible India Brand Evidence indicates that, despite its undisputed natural beauty, pilgrim places, world class hotel and resorts, India obtain much less from the visitor industry compared to other smaller nations. The challenge of branding a country like India is a big task, given the diversity within the nation, as well as the diversity in the target markets. Tourists travelling to the US or Europe are quite aware of what to expect. But for the first time visitors to India, there are always concerns about what they might encounter. Here comes the importance of developing a more comprehensive marketing strategy to brand India as illustrated by the author in the above mentioned article focusing Dubai. In order to fulfill this vision, the Incredible India campaign has been launched. Incredible India is a positioning and branding strategy that differentiates India in the global market place. It captured its unique spirituality, the colors of its landscapes and the distinctive character of its people and is focusing on a public-private partnership to make India a truly wonderful experience.

DOES OBSTACLES IN THE TOURISM SECTOR IS HAMPHERING THE GROWTH OR NOT? CHALLENGES FACED BY THE KERALA TOURISM INDUSTRY Ajims P Muhammad and Dr. Jagathyraj V P 20 in their study stated various challenges facing by the Kerala tourism industry. According to the authors, the major challenges faced by the Kerala tourism industry are poor roads, inadequate information by tourism agencies, lack of basic amenities, poor guide services
20

Challenges Faced by Kerala Tourism Industry, by Ajims P Muhammad and Dr. Jagathyraj 21

V P, Conference on Tourism in India- Challenges Ahead, May 2008, IIMK

and lack of cleanliness and hygiene. The authors recommended various methods like providing special attention and care to tourists, special protection for tourists, taking regular feedbacks from the tourists, starting more tourism information centers, improve the hygienic facilities etc for improving the quality of services to the tourists. But in order to remove all the obstacles and challenges which are facing by the Kerala tourism industry, the state government should come out with a strategic plan of action immediately; otherwise the brand image of the tourism industry in Kerala will get deteriorated.

CURRENT PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES IN MARKETING KERALA TOURISM

MAJOR AGENCIES The flagship of tourism industry in Kerala is Department of Tourism (DOT), government of Kerala. Kerla Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), Bakel Resorts Development Corporation (BRDC), Tourists Resorts Kerala Ltd. (TRKL), District Tourism Promotion Councils (DTPCs), Kerala Institute of Travel and Tourism Management Studies (KITTS), Kerala Institute of Hospitality Management Studies (KIHMS), Thenmala Eco tourism Development Agency and a host of other government departments such as Forests and Wildlife, Irrigation, Museum, Zoo and Archaeology are the other important state sponsored institutions which plays a key role in the tourism sector of Kerala. Besides, there are a number of agencies working in the semi-government and private sector for promotion of tourism in Kerala.

Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala The present department of tourism had its beginning in the state guest department of the Travancore state and Hospitality organization of the Cochin state. At that time the functioning of the department was confined to looking after the comforts of the guests of rulers and those of the government. In Travancore, the state guest department had been functioning since 1930. Till the reorganization of states in 1948, the state guest department of Travancore state and Hospitality department of Cochin State continued as such. Later, after the formation of Kerala state in 1956, these two separate organizations were combined as tourism department in 1958. This 22

department continues to be the government agency responsible for looking after the comforts of guests of the government. It also functions as the estate office so far as accommodation of VIPs like ministers are concerned. Their conveyance needs are also managed by the tourist department. Although the department continues to handle the hospitality function of the state, more emphasis is now given to promotion, planning and development of Tourism. In 1981 it was again re-named as Department of Tourism. The department of tourism has three functions such as a) hospitality wing of the state government b) estate office duty and c) tourism department. Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) is a public sector undertaking that conducts and regulates the tourism activities of the Kerala. The KTDC is headquartered at Thiruvanathapuram and has offices across all the districts of Kerala. The agency also operates hotels, resorts and tourist rest houses in differently key locations within the state. The department has the official slogan Official host to Gods own country. It was formed in 1966. The KTDC hotels and resorts are a unique mixture of sprawling properties which is a combination of modern and traditional architecture which is located either in breath taking exotic islands, mist-laden hills; palm fringed beaches or tranquil back waters. The KTDC is also doing a variety of promotional measures in order to attract more tourists to Kerala. Tourism Vision 2025 21 The department of Tourism, Government of Kerla decided to launch a new tourism policy with a long term perspective, tourism vision 2025 to promote and facilitate the growth of the tourism sector in Kerala. This was published for the first time in October 2001. The policy lists an action plan to achieve a ten per cent increase in earnings from tourism with seven per cent growth in foreign and nine per cent growth in domestic tourist arrivals. The Tourism Vision 2025 is to serve as a guiding force which will provide a clear vision and direction for optimizing the tourism potential of the state in a sustainable manner. Beside these policies, the Government of Kerala is also doing a number of other promotional measures in order to promote the tourism industry in Kerala. Promotional Measures by the Government of Kerala to promote the Tourism sector

21

www.keralatourism.org/tourism-vsion.php, accessed on 25th June 2010 23

As part of aggressive promotion of Kerala as a world class tourist destination,

Department of tourism participated in national and international trade meets along with private sector and organize road shows and events. The government also developed new products in order to attract more tourists from

domestic as well as international. These new product developments are medical tourism, Avian tours etc. The government also conducted a lot of tourism events in order to attract more

tourists. Some of these events are the Kerala Travel Mart, National Boat Show, Kerla Gold fest etc. The government also took necessary steps to promote Back water tourism and Eco

tourism as the highlight of the Kerala tourism industry. The critical role of the private sector Travel and Tourism is basically a private sector industry. The industrys spectacular performance over the past decades has largely been driven by private sector investment and involvement, which have helped to spread tourism to virgin and remote areas in the state such as Marari, Vythiri, Kalpetta, Mananthavadi and Poovar. Major national and international hotel chains- including Taj, oberoi, Le Meridian, Best Western, Golden Tulip, Casino and Mahindrahave already established hotels and resorts in the state. Many of these have been developed with state money, but they are managed by the private groups. Tour operators have also played a key role in the development of tourism in Kerala by creating unique and innovative tour options. Most of the leading tour operators in India- such as Thomas Cook, SITA and TCI- feature Kerala prominently in their national and international holiday brochures. A number of homebred tour operators, like Kerala Travels, Great India Tour Company and Pioneer travels have also established themselves as niche players in Keralas travel and tourism industry. These private sector players greatly contributed in the promotion of the tourism industry in Kerala. SWOT analysis of Kerala tourism industry22 Strengths
22

State is well known for the smooth law and order.

www.jamaceo.com/Kerala Tourism - Marketing Management, www.keralagov.in/kerala 24

callingoct/tourism2.pdf, accessed on 16th Aug 2010

One of the top ten paradise and top 50 places to be visited in lifetime by National

geographic traveler. Innovative branding and positioning. Variety of product and services( monsoon tourism, medical tourism, culture and arts,

house boats, backwaters, beaches, wildlife sanctuaries etc) highly reputable, bagged various national and international awards Kerala, Indias most advanced society with full literacy High life expectancy Excellent quality of Life Eco tourism initiatives.

Weaknesses Inadequate infrastructure to match expectation Provisional airline policies by Government of India Restrictive Coastal regulation Zone Lack of efficient waste management system Lack of regulatory mechanism for sustainable development Shortage of funds for tourism expansion Exploitation of tourists.

Opportunities Lot of unused prospects on heritage tourism, medical tourism and pilgrimage tourism Good brand image of Gods on Country Accessibility of quality human resource. Employability in tourism and related areas. 25

Threats Growth of tourism may lead to pollution problem, ecological hazards etc. Over emphasis may lead to recession in the period of downturn Growth of Goa tourism and Malaysian tourism with diverse offerings

The literature review gives a clear picture about various factors that is affecting the tourism industry. The empirical and contextual review of the study deals about the new trends in the tourism industry of Kerala, similar promotional and marketing efforts in other tourist destinations all around the world and also about the existing studies relating to Kerala and Indian tourism. These reviews very clearly indicate that very few researches has been conducted concentrating on study of potential tourist places in Kerala. The study is an attempt at assessing three potential tourist places in Kerala.

CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY


This study is exploratory in nature. This chapter presents a brief about the three prospective tourist places in Kerala, which is taken for this study and from where the tourists were interviewed. It also explains and justifies the various methods and processes used in this study. 3.1 A brief note on Prospective tourist places 26

KONNI Konni is small hilly town in the Pathanamthitta district, which is nearly 75 Kilometers away from Kottayam. Konni is famous for its elephant cages, forests and rubber plantations. Konni is an important center for cash crops like rubber, pepper, coffee and ginger which form the back bone of the agricultural economy of the state. This lush green land has been prominent as a haven of wild elephants and as an elephant training centre. The large area of thick forest with wild animals has now made Konni emerge as another tourist place for safaris and trekking. Konni is also known for its elephant rides. Konni is the gateway to the forest bordering the district. In the past, wild elephants caught from the forests were brought here and put in wooden cages known as Anakkoodu (Elephant Cage) to be tamed and trained for work. MAJOR ATTRACTONS Konni Elephant training centre Konni has a major elephant training centre. The prime attractions here are the huge cages of wood built to house elephants. Konni is famous for the elephant training centre since ancient times. The elephants were captured from the dense forests of the Western Ghats and brought to the elephant training cage at Konni. The trainers here also train the baby elephants which get separated from their herd or are found wounded or roaming in the forest. The major elephant capturing locations include, Mundom moozhy, Mannarappara and Thura. The elephant training centre which is present now was built in the year 1942 A.D. The elephant capturing was officially stopped in the year 1977 by the government. Presently the elephant training cage is a major tourist attraction. It also consist a history Museum. The elephant training centre function as an elephant welfare centre.

Achankovil River Konni features a long stretched of the beautiful Achankovil River which joins the river Pamba. This river is known for its scenic beauty with its lush green banks. It has several tributaries in this region. Muringamnagalam Sreemahadevar Temple This temple is more than 1000 years old and is located nearly half a kilometer from Konni junction. It used to belong to the Pandalam royal family. It is the biggest temple in east of Pathanamthitta district and biggest Siva temple in Pathanamthitta. 27

Achankovil and Aluvamkudi are other two ancient temples located here. Kattathipara in Kokkathodu is a nearby tourist place located a few kilometers away from Konni. Kattathipara is particularly attractive with its gigantic rocks and the triple-echo phenomenon. Kumbhavuruthy, which is a waterfall amidst thick forest

KRISHNAPURAM PALACE Kerala is noted for many palaces that were an outcome of princely domains that once ruled different parts of Kerala. The Krishnapuram Palace is one such palace, which could be reached from the National Highway - 47 going via Kayamkulam in Alapuzha district of Kerala. It is a historically important palace, located close to the Sree Krishnaswamy Temple at Krishnapuram. History reckons this double-storied palace as the one where the kings of Kayamkulam dynasty last stayed. It is a typical example of a palace design that is of the same kind to that of local rulers in ancient Kerala. The palace was built during the period of Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma (1729-1758 AD). Many ancillary units of Krishnapuram Palace got demolished and only the main palace structure remains intact. The palace is noted for its characteristic style of Kerala architecture such as gabled roofs, narrow corridors, dormer windows, pent roofs and so on. It also houses one of the largest single panel mural paintings so far discovered in Kerala known as Gajendra Moksha, which measures 53 sq.ft in area. An archaeological museum is set up in the palace in which stone and wood sculptures, bronzes, copies of mural paintings, coins, megalithic remains, stone inscription and such historically and archaeologically important objects are preserved and protected. The hill palace is situated on the top of a small hill surrounded by terraced garden with fountains, ponds and lawns. The oldest building in it is the one constructed around 1850 AD, a single storied Ettukettu, built in the traditional style with an adjacent pond, temple and uttupura. All other buildings are a combination of traditional and western architecture. The palace today is protected under the archaeology department. Other attractions here are the beautifully landscaped garden in the palace compound where you have a variety of flora typical of Kerala, and a newly erected Buddha mandapam, where a recently recovered statue of the Buddha is housed. PANIELI PORU Panieli Poru is a little known tourist place on the eastern tracks of Ernakulum district situated along the Malayattoor forest tracks, 20 km from Perumbavoor. The place casts an enchanting 28

spell that mesmerizes the visitors. Panieli Poru is an amazing sight of Periyar river flowing through rocks and between dense rain forests. The vast view of distant green hillocks and the tranquility around the place is really great. Mid November to end of May is the good time to visit as the water flow will be reduced during this time thus exposing the rocks and whirlpools. Panieli Poru has natural water falls, small rivulets, off-shore surrounded by rich flora and fauna. Resting, by sitting on the off-shore surrounded by dense trees, is a unique experience. The sweet, melodious sound of birds, the bustling sound of water makes your heart, mind and body cheerful. The river Periyar flowing in between two main lands, Malayattoor in the north and Panieli in the south, provides a panoramic view to the visitors. The hilly terrain of St: Thomas mount, Western Ghats, Kodanad etc. forms part of Panieli Poru. Panieli Poru came in to the limelight of tourist map lately. The crowd began in 2000-01. Trekking is another important leisure facility available here. Trekking from Poru to Bhoothathankettu (around 20 km) along the river side, through the dense forest is one option and trekking, crossing the river, to Malayattoor is another option. (Refer appendix 1 for the pictures and particulars about the three places)

3.2Research design
The study is carried out based on primary data sources. Data collection The data collected for the research is based on responses from selected tourists who have visited different tourist places in Kerala in the past two years with the help of a designed questionnaire and also an interview schedule was prepared for data collection from tour operators and travel agents.

Sampling design Non-probability sampling method: Judgment sampling method is used to conduct the research. The research is confined to south Kerala, from where the three prospective places was selected and the assumption made is to ensure that the samples collected will be in line with the entire population of the state. Hence 120 tourists have been decided upon as the sample for the survey. Interviews were also conducted for 25 tour operators and travel agents. 29

Data collection tool The questionnaire is well designed in order to get the right perspective of the respondent, so as to identify the objectives of the research in a more structured and standardized way. Questions were designed in pre-emptive manner to get the right discussion from the respondent. The questionnaire and the interview schedule were administered to a selected set of respondents. His/her suggestions for required improvements are also incorporated in the study. (Refer Appendix 3 & 4 for the model questionnaire and interview schedule) 3.3 Mode of analysis. The primary data collected through the questionnaire and the interview schedule has been analyzed to achieve the research objectives. The study is qualitative in nature (content analysis) as it is focusing on the qualitative aspects of assessing the prospective tourist places in Kerala.

CHAPTER 4 ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION


Current communication strategies of Kerala tourism Kerala tourism is currently concentrating more on indirect medium like TV, news paper and Internet. Currently promotion is carrying out through two schemes, domestic promotion and publicity and foreign promotion and publicity. It is a known fact that domestic market contribute majority to the tourism industry. With that growth, 11th planning commission also allows state 30

government to do two local events/festivals and two major national events. The current marketing strategies of Kerala tourism include event based promotions, mass media promotions, social media marketing, road shows, consumer shows, mobile marketing, internet & digital campaigns, online movies and serial ads and private partnered campaigns. More over they offer toll free numbers for enquires and fully fledged websites. Social media marketing is the latest adoption of Kerala tourism in the year 2009. Identifying the penetration of social networks and internet strategic promotions has been started since 2008. Partnering with Jet Airways is another major campaign. Another major marketing strategy is the tie ups of Kerala tourism with private agencies to promote tourism like club Mahindras. (Source from planning commission Kerala government) Section 4.1 to 4.3 deals with the profile of the respondents. This includes the age, gender, nationality and monthly income of the respondents.

4.1 AGE AND GENDER CLASSIFICATON OF THE RESPONDENTS


No of respondents Age groups( in years) 16-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 Total Male 26 40 29 9 3 107 Female 2 9 2 0 0 13 Total 28 49 31 9 3 120 Percentage of the respondents 23.33 40.84 25.83 7.50 2.50 100

Table 1: Age and gender classification of the respondents

31

60 50 40 30 28 31 49

t d n p s e r f o N

20 10 0 16-25 26-35 36-45 Ag C s a e la sific tion 46-55 56-65 9 3

Figure 1: Age classification of the respondents Of the total 120 respondents, about 41 per cent of the respondents are aged 26-35 years, followed by nearly 26 per cent of the respondents aged 36-45 years and 23 per cent aged of 1625 years. The least number of respondents are aged 56-65 years which is only about three per cent followed by the age group of 46-55 years, which is about eight per cent of the total respondents. The majority of the respondents (more than 90 per cent) were found to be under the age of 45 years and less. This indicates that the youth and middle aged people generally tour places. The number of female respondents was very small (only about 11 per cent of the total respondents) and most of these female respondents are aged between 26-35 years, which is more than 80 of the total female respondents.

4.2 NATIONALITY OF THE RESPONDENTS


An analysis of nationality of the respondents who has visited the tourist places in Kerala revealed that about 92 per cent of the tourists are Indians and other 8 per cent are foreigners.

Nationality of the respondents Indian tourists Keralites Other Indian states

No of respondents 110 98 12

Percentage of the respondents 91.66 81.66 10 32

Foreign tourists Europe USA Total

10 8 2 120 Table 2: Nationality of the respondents

8.34 6.67 1.67 100

Of the 120 respondents, 110 of them are Indian tourists, (more than 90 per cent). Other 10 respondents are foreign tourists which will form less than 10 per cent of the total respondents. Of the 110 Indian tourists, 98 of them are Keralites and only 12 are from other Indian states. The area considered for the study was southern and central Kerala which have been attracting tourists only from these areas. Out of the 10 foreign tourists, eight of them are from Europe and the remaining two are from USA.

4.3 INCOME OF THE RESPONDENTS


Both income and tourism are related to each other. The income of a tourist will determine how much he/she will be spending during their visit to any tourist places. It will also help in understanding the spending habits of the tourist, affordability and will help a marketer/tour operator to plan accordingly.

No of Respondents Income( ` per month) Less than 10,000 10,001-20,000 20,001-30,000 30,001-40,000 40,001-50,000 Above 50,001 Total Kerala 24 46 22 1 3 2 Other Indian states 0 0 0 9 2 1 Foreign Tourists 0 0 0 0 0 10 Total 24 46 22 10 5 13 Percentage of the respondents 20 38.34 18.33 8.33 4.16 10.84 100

98 12 10 120 Table 3: Income classification of respondents

33

50 45 40 35 30 25 20 24

46

22 13 5

t d n p s e R f o N

15 10 5 0 Lessthan 10,000 20,001-30,000

10

40,001-50,000

Inc omein `

Figure 2: Income classification of respondents An analysis of the monthly income of these respondents revealed that the predominant income group is ` 10,001 20,000 (per month), which is about 38 per cent of the respondents, followed by 20 per cent of the respondents income to be ` 10,000 or less. 18 per cent of the respondents stated that they earn about ` 20,001- 30,000. The least earning income group is ` 40,001-50,000 (only four per cent of the respondents). Eight per cent of the respondents stated that they earn at about ` 30,001 40,000 per month and about 11 per cent of the respondents stated to be earning over ` 50,001. All the 22 tourists from outside Kerala who have responded for this study survey stated that they are earning more than ` 30,000 per month. All the 10 foreign tourists stated that they are earning ` 50,001 or more per month and most of them are earning very high income back in their native places. So it could be inferred that these foreign tourists who have visited Kerala and other places in India earn income high enough to be sufficient for them to support their expenses during their visit to other countries. All the 12 respondents from other parts of India stated to be earning more than ` 30,001 per month. Out of the 98 Keralites tourists, 70 of them stated that they earn less than ` 20,000 per month. Majority of the tourist respondents from Kerala are found to be earning ` 20,000 and less, yet they manage tours to the nearby tourist places of their residence. Keralites tourists mostly prefer weekend trips or one day trips, while other Indian tourists prefer either package tour or self planned tour for 3-5 days. Foreign tourists during their visit to Kerala prefer to stay for more than two weeks to visit more tourist attractive places. 34

4.4 CLASSIFICATION OF RESPONDENTS BY NATURE/ PLANNING OF TRIPS


Organization of Holidays Self organized LTC General Vacation Through a travel agency Package Tour Individual Requirements Total No of respondents 93 0 93 27 24 3 120 Table 4: Nature of holiday of respondents Percentage of the respondents 77.50 0 77.50 22.50 20 2.50 100

Over 77 per cent of the respondents stated that they planned a trip to the tourist places themselves for a general vacation and the other 22 per cent of respondents stated that they plan the vacation through a travel agency. Of the 27 respondents who organized their trips with the help of a travel agency, 24 of them stated that they used the package tour facility for visiting the tourist places. An interesting fact is that of the 27 respondents who organized their trips through travel agency, 19 of them are from outside Kerala (which also includes 8 foreign tourists). All the three tourists who organized their trip through a travel agency based on their own individual requirements are foreign tourists. This shows that the tourism agency distribution network is fairly strong outside Kerala, as it is attracting reasonably good number of tourists from outside Kerala to the already established tourist places through its strong distribution and marketing efforts.

4.5 ACCOMPANYING PERSON TO TOUR


The accompanying person with the respondent clearly plays an impact on the spending habits of the respondents. Accompanying person to tour Friends Family/Relatives Others ( Business friends, colleagues) Total No of respondents 32 80 8 120 Table 5: Accompanying person for tour Percentage of the respondents 26.67 66.67 6.66 100

35

90 80 70 60 50 40 32

80

t d n p s e R f o N

30 20 10 0 Friends Fam ily Ac ompa c nying pers on Others 8

Figure 3: Accompanying person for tour Of the total 120 respondents, nearly 67 per cent of the respondents stated to have visited the tourist places with their family, while about 27 per cent stated to have visited with their friends, and only about seven per cent stated to have visited with their colleagues and business friends etc. All the tourists from outside Kerala stated to have visited either with friends or families. The tourists who are organizing trips to far places generally are accompanied by either their families or friends.

4.6 MEANS OF TRANSPORT USED BY THE RESPONDENTS FOR VISITING THE


TOURIST PLACES IN KERALA No of Respondents Kerala 10 51 11 4 22 98 Other Indian states 2 1 9 0 0 12 Foreign Tourists 5 0 5 0 0 10 Total 17 52 25 4 22 120

Means of transport used Cab Private car Bus Train Others* Total

Percentage of the respondents 14.17 43.33 20.84 3.33 18.33 100

Table 6: Means of transport used *others include bikes, scooters, bicycle etc Of the 120 respondents, about 43 per cent stated to have visited tourist places in private car followed by 21 per cent of respondents stated to have used Bus. Nearly 18 per cent of the 36

respondents stated to have visited tourist places through other means of transport, which include bikes, scooters, bicycle etc which are used by people who are closer to the tourist places and 14 per cent of respondents stated to have used Cab services. 19 of the 22 tourists from outside Kerala have organized their trips through travel agencies. So after arriving to Kerala, they have visited tourist places in bus or cab which was specially arranged by the travel agency.

4.7 ACCOMODATION DURING THE VISIT


Type of Accommodation Day trip Hotel Guest house Others* Total No of respondents 66 25 10 19 120 Table 7: Accommodation of respondents Percentage of the respondents 55 20.83 8.33 15.83 100

*others include relatives and friends houses

70 60 50 40 30

66

25 19 10

t d n p s e R f o N

20 10 0 Day trip Hotels Guest house

others

Acc omoda tion of R espondents

Figure 4: Accommodation of respondents Of the 120 respondents, 55 per cent stated to have toured for day trips. Majority of this 55 per cent of respondents include Keralites who normally prefer short trips along with their friends, families or relatives and majority of them fall under the age category of 16- 35 years and with an income less than ` 20,000 per month. 21 per cent of respondents stated to have stayed in Hotels 37

and eight per cent of respondents stated to have stayed in Guest houses. Majority of the respondents (22 of the 35 respondents) who have stayed either in a hotel or guest houses are tourists from outside Kerala. All 27 tourists (which include 19 tourists from outside Kerala) who have organized their trips through a travel agency stated that they stayed either in a hotel or guest house which was arranged by the travel agency. About 16 per cent of the respondents stated to have stayed in their relatives or friends houses during their trip, which was mentioned under the section others and more than 80 per cent of them fall under the age group of 16- 25 years with a monthly income less than ` 10,000. Day trips are preferred by local tourists, as they need not consider the accommodation expenses.

4.8 AVERAGE DAILY COST PER PERSON FOR ACCOMODATION


This section deals with the average daily cost per person for accommodation during their visit to various tourist places in Kerala. This section deals with 35 respondents who have stayed either in Hotel or Guest houses during their vacation trips. These 35 respondents include 22 tourists from outside Kerala and 13 Keralites. An analysis of the average monthly income of these 35 respondents reveal that respondents receiving monthly income of ` 20,000 and above prefer hotel/ guest house accommodation while on tour.

Income( ` per month) 20,001-30,000 30,001-40,000 40,001-50,000 Above 50,001

No of respondents 9 10 3 13

Percentage of the respondents 25.71 28.57 8.57 37.14

Total 35 100 Table 8: Income classification of respondents who have stayed in hotel/ restaurants As it is evident from the table 8, of the 35 respondents, 37 per cent (13 respondents) stated they earn ` 50,001 or more per month which includes all 10 foreign tourists. About 29 per cent stated that they earn `c30, 001-40,000, followed by 26 per cent stated earning ` 20,001-30,000. Nine per cent stated that they earn ` 40,001-50,000. Thus the predominant income group who stayed at hotels or guest houses is those with a monthly income of ` 50,001 or more. Those who stayed at hotels/ guest houses generally belong to the upper middle class and the upper class.

Average daily cost( hotel/ Guest house in `)

Respondents

Percentage of the respondents 38

Less than 500 501- 1000 1001- 5000 Above 5001 Total

7 17 8 3 35

20 48.57 22.85 8.57 100

Table 9: Average daily cost of respondents during their stay in hotels/ restaurants
18 16 14 12 10 8 7 8 17

t d n p s e R f o N

6 4 2 0 lessthan Rs 500 Rs501-1000 Rs1001-5000 AboveRs 5001 3

Avera eda cost g ily

Figure 5: Average daily cost of respondents during their stay in hotels/restaurants Table 9 shows that about 49 per cent of the respondents stated their average accommodation expense to between ` 501-1000 per day followed by 23 per cent of respondents stating their expenses to be between ` 1001- 5000 per day. 20 per cent of respondents stated their expense to be ` 500 per day while 9 per cent stated their expenses to be ` 5001 and above.

Average daily cost( in `) Less than 500 501- 1000 1001- 5000 Above 5001

Income classification( in `) 20,00130,000 7 2 0 0 30,00140,000 0 10 0 0 40,00150,000 0 3 0 0 Above 50,001 0 2 8 3 Total 7 17 8 3 39

Total

10

13

35

Table 10: Relationship showing the income of the respondents and accommodation expenses From table 10 it is evident that of the 13 respondents whose income is ` 50,001 and above, eight respondents stated their accommodation expenses to be between ` 1001-5000, while only three respondents stated their expenses to be above ` 5001. This could be because respondents experienced more comfort and facilities at a lesser price. Of the 17 respondents who stated their expenses to be between ` 501-1000, 10 of them belongs to the income group of ` 30,001-40,000 while three respondents belongs to the income group of `40,001-50,000 and two respondents belongs to income group of ` 50,001 and above. This could be because respondents prefer low cost accommodation and most of them responded that they wanted to spend more on other things than accommodation during their trips.

4.9 PLACES VISITED IN KERALA


This section deals with the places where the respondents have visited during the last two years in Kerala. This will help us to get a general idea about the tourist places which are normally visited by tourists in Kerala during the past two years.

Places Visited Munnar Wayanad Ernakulum Thiruvanathapuram Konni Krishnapuram Palace Panieli Poru

No of respondents 17 24 47 32 31 18 17

Others * 109 Table 11: Places visited by the respondents in Kerala during the last two years *others include important tourist places in Kerala (not mentioned in the table) 120 respondents have 295 responses in all to the query on places visited in Kerala. The maximum responses is for other places in Kerala (not specified in the table) like Kottayam, Thekkady, Kumarakom, Idukky, Guruvayoor, Thrissur, Kovalam, Bekal, Kannur etc which have been attracting tourists for over 18-20 years (109 responses). Ernakulum (47 responses), Thiruvanathapuram (32 responses), Wayanad (24 responses), Munnar (17 responses) are the 40

places visited by the respondents. Responses varying from 17-31 have stated to have visited the three places(Konni, Krishnapuram Palace and Panieli Poru) that have been chosen for this study. All the three places are popular among the local tourists, especially people who are staying very close to these places. From this section onwards the focus is on those 66 respondents/responses who have visited one of the three places (Konni, Krishnapuram Palace and Panieli Poru) which have been taken for the study as the prospective tourist places in Kerala. Eight respondents have visited both Konni and Krishnapuram Palace and two respondents have visited both Konni and Panieli Poru.

4.10 SOURCE OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE THREE PLACES.


. Source of Information about the places Places Konni Palace Panieli Poru Percentages Books 1 0 0 1.51 Friends/ Relatives 29 17 17 95.45 TV 0 0 0 0 Internet 1 1 0 3.03 Others 0 0 0 0 Total 31 18 17 66

Table 12: sources of information about three places 95 per cent who have visited Konni and all the respondents who have visited either Krishnapuram palace or Panieli Poru stated their source of information to be their friends, family or relatives, indicating the role of word of mouth in promoting tourism in these places than advertising. People visit these places because of recommendations by their close relatives and friends. Unlike products which rely on advertisement for their sale, effective referrals about the places are more valuable on popularizing place/s than advertisement.

4.11 SUFFICIENT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PLACE BEFORE COMING


Sufficient Information about the places Places Konni Palace Panieli Poru Percentages Very much 6 4 3 19.69 Much 17 7 9 50 Moderately 4 6 4 21.21 Very less 2 1 1 6.06 Not at all 2 0 0 3.03 Total 31 18 17 66 41

Table 13: Information about the places

17 of the 31 respondents (55 per cent) who have visited Konni stated that they got much information about the place, followed by six respondents stated they got very much information, followed by four stated that they got moderate information. Nine of the 17 respondents (53 per cent) who have visited Panieli Poru stated that they got much information about the place followed by four respondents stated that they got moderate information before visiting Panieli Poru. Seven of the 18 respondents (39 per cent) who have visited Krishnapuram palace stated that they got much information about the place and six respondents stated that they got moderate information about the place. Nearly 70 per cent of the respondents stated that they have got much information about the place before their visit to these places. This is because about 95 per cent of the respondents got their source of information about the place from their friends/ relatives who are staying closer to these three places. The respondents before their visits to these three places have got adequate informations from their friends and relatives.

4.12 NUMBER OF TIMES OF VISIT TO THE PLACES BY THE RESPONDENTS AND


EASINESS OF FINDING THE WAY TO THESE PLACES

Number of Visits Places Konni Palace Panieli Poru Percentages First time 10 5 2 25.75 Second time 12 8 8 42.42 Third time 6 4 6 24.24 Fourth time 2 1 1 6.06 Over five times 1 0 0 1.51 Total 31 18 17 66

Table 14: No of times of visit to these places Of the 31 respondents, 10 have visited Konni at least once and 12 have visited twice. Six stated to have visited thrice and two stated to have visited four times and only one stated to have visited five times. Of the 18 respondents, five have visited Krishnapuram palace at least once and eight stated to have visited two times, four stated to have visited thrice and only one stated to have visited four times. Of the 17 respondents, two stated to have visited Panieli Poru at least once and eight stated to have visited twice. Six stated to have visited thrice and only one stated to have visited four times. The major tourist attraction spots in Konni are the elephant training 42

centre, dense forest, rivers and waterfalls, where as for Krishnapuram palace the attractive spots are mural paintings, archeological museum and traditional architectural buildings were as for Panieli Poru the attractive spots are dense forests, rivers and green hills. Because of these attractive spots of these three places more than 75 per cent of the respondents have visited these places at least twice. 25 per cent of respondents who have visited these places for the first time are people who are staying very far from these places and the 32 per cent who have visited these places at least thrice are people who are staying nearer to these places. These responses indicate that all the three places are found to be gaining the attention of tourists as tourist places. All the three places are quite friendly locations and are easily accessible through various means of transport. Konni is accessible through roadways, where as Krishnapuram palace and Panieli Poru is accessible through roadways and rail ways. Panieli Poru is nearer to the Cochin International Airport while Konni and Krishnapuram Palace are nearer to the Thiruvanathapuram Airport.

Easiness of finding the way Places Konni Palace Panieli Poru Percentages Very easy 14 12 0 39.39 Easy 14 6 8 42.42 With little problem 3 0 7 15.15 0 0 2 3.03 0 0 0 0 31 18 17 66 Difficult Very difficult Total

Table 15: Easiness of finding the way to three places The respondents also stated that it was easy for them to find the way to the three places. Of the 31 respondents, 14 stated that it was very easy to find a way to Konni, while another 14 stated that it was easy. Of the 18 respondents, 12 stated that they found it very easy to find a way to Krishnapuram palace and six stated that it was easy. Of the 17 respondents, eight stated that they found it easy to find a way to Panieli Poru. Nearly 90 per cent of the respondents found the way to Konni with ease. All respondents stated that they found the way to Krishnapuram palace with ease but more than 50 per cent of the respondents stated that they had some problems to reach Panieli Poru, because of the poor conditions of the roads to this place.

4.13 INTEREST OF THE RESPONDENTS


. Interest of the respondents Places 43 Total

Konni Palace Panieli Poru Percentages

19 8 10 56.06

10 7 7 36.36

2 3 0 7.57

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

31 18 17 66

Table 16: Interest of the respondents in visiting the three places Of the 31 respondents who have visited Konni, 19 respondents (more than 60 per cent) stated that they liked the place very much. The reason was because of the beautiful landscape, a variety of tourist spots and activities like wildlife safari and trekking which is attracting a lot of new tourists. Of 18 respondents who have visited Krishnapuram palace, eight respondents (nearly 50 per cent) said that they liked the place very much. The reason was because of the calm and quiet atmosphere and the presence of architectural buildings and mural paintings of this ancient palace, which is an ideal place for relaxation. Of 17 respondents who have visited Panieli Poru, 10 respondents, (nearly 60 per cent) said that they liked the place very much. The reason was because of the presence of thick dense forest, waterfalls, small streams and also sports like trekking etc which makes the place an ideal one for excitement and joy. More than 60 per cent of respondents stated their liking to these places very much which shows that all three places have got good prospects for developing as premier tourist hubs. Another interesting fact which was found during the data collection was that nearly 90 per cent of the respondents who have visited at least one of the three places said that they will recommended these places to their friends or relatives because of the variety of attractive spots, which indicates how word of mouth advertising can effectively help in promoting these three places. Respondents stated that the exotic natural beauty and landscape, forest and relaxation etc were the most important factors that motivated them for visiting Konni. Respondents who have visited Krishnapuram palace stated that the Museum, antiques and silence were the important factors that motivated them to visit the place. Respondents who have visited Panieli Poru stated that Nature and landscape, Forest and relaxation were the important factors that motivated them to visit the place. Majority of the respondents stated that they are satisfied after visiting these places.

4.14 EVALUATION OF THE PLACES BY THE RESPONDENTS


Average ratings by respondents( out of 5) Factors Nature conservation Shops Konni 3.64 2.80 Krishnapuram Palace 4.33 1.77 Panieli Poru 3.58 2.29 44

Signs and Information Temperature Relaxation Cleanliness Noise Transport Facilities Others*

4.06 3.41 4.38 3.35 3.25 3.45 3.03

2.50 2.66 4.27 4.83 4.88 3.38 2.72

2.47 4.23 4.76 3.22 3.47 2.95 2.70

Table 17: Evaluation of the three places by the respondents *Others includes hotels, restaurants and toilet facilities Evaluation was made on several factors. (Ratings are based on responses from 31 respondents who have visited Konni, 18 respondents who have visited Krishnapuram palace and 17 respondents who have visited Panieli Poru). For Konni, relaxation and signs and information has been evaluated by the respondents as very good, while Nature conservation, temperature, transport facilities, cleanliness, noise etc are evaluated as good, while shops are evaluated only as average. For Krishnapuram palace, Noise, cleanliness, nature conservation and relaxation are evaluated by the respondents as very good, while transport facilities are evaluated as good and shops are evaluated as poor. For Panieli Poru, Relaxation and temperature are evaluated as very good, while nature conservation, noise and cleanliness are evaluated as good. Transport facilities, signs and informations and shops are evaluated as average by the respondents. The other items includes hotels, restaurants and toilets are evaluated as good for Konni and average for other two places by the respondents. Respondents also stated that facilities like good hotels, restaurants and toilet facilities are required immediately for all the three places. Cleanliness facilities for Konni and Panieli Poru and transport facilities for Panieli Poru needs to be improved and is required within 3-6 months. Additional guides should also be hired for helping out the tourists, which is a requirement that should be taken care within a year for all the three places and additional security guards should also be recruited for Konni and Panieli Poru. An additional information centre is also required for Panieli Poru within the next one year, because it is expecting that there will a steep increase in the number of tourists visiting this place in the upcoming seasons. Most of the respondents stated that the major draw backs found while visiting Konni was the lack of good hotels, toilet facilities, shops and cleanliness and noise is also too high because of lack of securities and guides. Respondents who have visited Krishnapuram palace stated that the major drawbacks are the lack of good shops and hotels, while respondents who have visited Panieli Poru stated that the major draw backs are the lack of shops, hotels, cleanliness, noise, 45

information centers, guides and securities and to a certain extend the road facilities because of the treacherous conditions of the roads. All the respondents who have visited these places stated that, all three places has got huge prospects for developing as premier tourism hubs, by eliminating all the above mentioned drawbacks, and by promoting these places effectively using the attractive tourist spots of these places.

4.15 RESPONSES OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT VISITED THESE PLACES
This section deals with the responses of the people who have not visited at least one of these three places but are aware about the places. Of the total 120 respondents, 64 respondents (more than 50 per cent) have not visited at least one of the three places, while 35 of these 64 respondents are not aware about any of these three places. Of the remaining 29 respondents, 14 are aware about tourist attractive spots of Konni, four are aware about Krishnapuram Palace and seven are aware about Panieli Poru, while four respondents are aware about both Konni and Krishnapuram Palace, which makes 18 respondents aware about Konni, eight respondents aware about Krishnapuram Palace and seven respondents aware about Panieli Poru. Of the 35 respondents who are not aware about at least one of these places, 20 of them are from outside Kerala (which includes eight foreign tourists). So it indicates that these places are not well promoted outside Kerala and this section deals with the opinion of the respondents who are aware of these places but have not yet visited. All the respondents who are aware of at least one of these three places stated that their source of information about these places is through their friends and families/relatives. They also stated that they didnt have much information about these places and they only have a vague idea about the attractive tourist spots. Around 90 per cent of the respondents, who are aware about Konni, stated that the major tourist attractive spot in Konni is the Anakkoodu, the elephant training centre. All the respondents who are aware about Krishnapuram Palace stated that the major tourist attractive spot is the archeological museum and for Panieli Poru the major tourist spot is the small waterfalls and the dense forest. These data shows that those respondents who have not at all visited any of these three places are aware about the major tourist attractive spots of these places. Reasons for not visiting Far away Lack of facilities/Not Lack of information 46

Places Konni Palace Panieli Poru Percentages

much attractive 4 2 2 5 1 2 9 5 3

Total 18 8 7 33

24.24 24.24 51.51 Table 18: Reasons for not visiting the places

As is evident from the table 18, more than 50 per cent of the respondents stated that they didnt have sufficient information about these places. They got an idea about these places through their friends and families/relatives, but the respondents stated that this information is not sufficient for visiting these places. 24 per cent of the respondents stated that these places are far away from their native places and another 24 per cent stated that they did not want to visit these places because of lack of basic facilities like good toilet facilities, good hotels and restaurants and stated that they did not feel it worthy to visit these places because they have other good alternative tourist places closer to their residence. About 80 per cent of the respondents who are aware of these places but have not yet visited stated that they are happy to visit these places after 6 months or more, only if little more developmental activities have been undertaken in these places. All the respondents stated that if they want to visit these places, they will do it as a self planned visit because, all the respondents who are aware about these places are Keralites and a visit to these places does not requires much strategic or integrated planning. Of the 22 tourists from outside Kerala who responded for this study, 20 of them (more than 90 per cent) are not aware about these places. In case of Keralites, of the 98 respondents, 83 respondents (more than 80 per cent) have either visited or aware about one of these three places.

4.16 RESPONSES FROM TRAVEL AGENTS/ TOUR OPERATORS


Interviews were conducted with 25 tour operators / travel agents and the following data was collected. Important Places in Kerala to which travel packages are offered Places Wayanad Munnar Kumarakom Ernakulum Others* Total No of tourist operators 3 5 4 5 8 25 Percentages 12 20 16 20 32 100 47

Table 19: Travel packages offered by tour operators and travel agents * Others include all other tourist places in Kerala which are not mentioned in the table which also includes the three places chosen for the study
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 3 5 4 5 8

p u / s n g l e v a r t f o N

1 0 Wayanad Munnar Kumarakom T ourist pla es c Ernakulam Others

Figure 6: Travel packages offered by tour operators and travel agents From table 19 it is evident that of the 25 respondents, 20 per cent (five respondents) stated that they offer travel packages to Munnar, while another 20 per cent stated that they offer travel packages to Ernakulum, followed by 16 per cent stated that they offer travel packages to Kumarakom and another 12 per cent stated that they offer travel packages to Wayanad. 32 per cent of respondents (eight tour operators/travel agents) stated that they offer travel packages to other tourist areas of Kerala which includes places like Thekkady, Alapuzha, Idukky, Thiruvanathapuram etc. Travel agents/ Tourist operators also stated that about 90 per cent of enquires about tour packages are coming from foreign tourists and tourists from other states of India. Of the total 25 respondents, four stated that they have travel packages to Konni and two stated that they have travel packages to Krishnapuram palace and other two stated that they have travel packages to Panieli Poru. Respondents also stated that these travel packages are not exclusively to these places, but it is only a part of the tour package which includes touring lot of other places. Tour operators and travel agents also stated that till now they have not got any enquiries from tourists about exclusively visiting Konni, Krishnapuram palace or Panieli Poru. This indicates that the three places that have been taken for study is not popular among foreign tourists and tourists from other parts of India. Of the 25 respondents, 68 per cent (17 tour operators/travel agents) stated that they offer tourist packages based on seasons followed by eight tour operators/travel agents (32 per cent) stated 48

that they offer only general packages which means that their travel packages does not fluctuate with seasons. Tour operators/travel agents who offer seasonal travel packages stated that the reason for doing this is to attract more customers. Of the 25 respondents, 23 respondents (92 per cent of tour operators/ travel agents) stated that they have tie ups with travel agents from other parts of India and they also mentioned that a lot of enquires are coming from the other parts of India about tour packages to famous tourist places in Kerala like Ernakulum, Thiruvanathapuram, Munnar, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Alapuzha, Kottayam, Idukky etc. They also stated that the already established tourist places in Kerala are very much esteemed by the foreign tourists and the tourists from other Indian States. Most of the tour operators/ travel agents stated that they have tie ups with tour operators/ travel agents mainly from states like Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, New Delhi and Andhra Pradesh. The main reason behind tie ups with tour operators and travel agents of these states is because; bulk of the tourists from other Indian states who are visiting Kerala is from these states. This shows that a strategic partnership or tie ups with tour operators and travel agents of these states are essential for attracting more tourists from other Indian states to Kerala. Some of the tour operators and travel agents stated that they have tie ups with some foreign tourist operators and travel agents. Of the 23 respondents, 11 stated that the nature of tie up is an understanding between agents and operators in conducting specific tours and booking tickets followed by seven respondents stated that the tie up is only about booking transport and accommodation from the state of origin to place of destination in Kerala and the remaining five stated that the tie up is only about giving references. Of the 25 tour operators/ travel agents who were interviewed, 17 of them (68 per cent) stated that they will recommend Konni to tourists. The reason was because Konni has more prospects for developing as a tourist attractive spot and the place is also listed by the state government under the new proposed eco tourism plans by the tourism department of the state. Three tour operators/ travel agents stated that they will recommend Krishnapuram palace to those tourists who are interested in visiting traditional architectural buildings, paintings and archeological museums. Five tour operators and travel agents stated that they will recommend Panieli Poru to tourists, because the place is rich in natural beauty and has got breath taking landscapes and is surely an ideal place for tourists who like to stay close to nature. The tour operates and travel agents also stated that more developmental measures has to be undertaken in these areas, so that they can recommend these places to more tourists. 49

Rating of the places Places Konni Palace Panieli Poru Very attractive 8 0 5 attractive 11 15 14 good 5 8 4 average 1 2 2 Bad 0 0 0 Total 25 25 25 100

Percentages 17.33 53.33 22.67 6.67 0 Table 20: Ratings of the three places by travel agents and tour operators

Of the 25 respondents, 44 per cent (11 respondents) rated Konni as attractive followed by 32 per cent rated as very attractive, while 20 per cent rated as good and only one respondent rated the place as average. 60 per cent of the respondents rated Krishnapuram palace as attractive, followed by 32 per cent rated the palace as good and only two respondents rated the palace as average. 56 per cent of the respondents rated Panieli Poru as attractive, followed by 20 per cent rated the place as very attractive. 16 per cent rated the place as good and only two respondents rated the place as average. Overall nearly 70 per cent of the agents and operators rated these places as attractive or very attractive, which shows that tour operators and travel agents are keeping very high tabs on these places as these places are very highly regarded by the agents and operators.

Average ratings by tour operators/ travel agents ( out of 5) Factors Natural scenes Landscapes Facilities * Services** Konni 4.68 4.42 3.57 3.23 Krishnapuram Palace 4.06 4 3.93 4.80 Panieli Poru 4.63 4.36 3.37 2.73

Table 21: Ratings of the three places for certain factors Tour operators and travel agents rated the natural scenes and landscapes of Konni as very good, while Facilities and services are rated as good and stated that there is still room for improvement for these two items. Facilities* include hotels, restaurants, toilet facilities etc and services** include information centre, guards, securities, first aid centre etc. Natural scenes, landscapes and Services of Krishnapuram palace are rated as very good by agents and operators while Facilities is rated as good. For Panieli Poru, Natural Scenes and Landscapes are rated as very good while services are rated as well below the mark. 50

The tour operators and travel agents rated the natural scenes and landscapes of all the three places as very good, but also stated that the facilities of all the three places and the services of Konni and Panieli Poru needs to be improved. They also stated that the three places can be marketed / promoted as tourist places after the completion of some developmental activities. They also pointed out that tourists are not visiting these places because of lack of enough information about these places and also suggested some promotional measures like publishing new brochures and advertisement about the tourist spots of these places can attract lot of new tourists. Tour operators and travel agents stated that the major obstacle that they encounter while promoting tourism in Kerala is the lack of co- operation from the natives. Another obstacle is poor facilities and hygienic problems in some lesser known tourist places, which are hampering the growth of tourism in some parts of Kerala. They also stated that the condition of roads in some parts of Kerala is very poor and also pointed out the lack of enough information centers and sign boards. In order to overcome these problems the agents/operators have taken some measures. In order to improve the relationship with the local natives, they are encouraging home stay facilities for tourists in some local natives houses, which can reduce some problems relating to hygiene. They also stated that they have recruited some local natives as guides, who will accompany with the tourist. They stated the other obstacles can be removed only with the help of tourism department and other tourism agencies of the state.

CHAPTER 5 FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS


51

This chapter presents a summary of the research that was carried out. This chapter includes the conclusion and recommendations of this study.

5.1 Findings
Responses were collected from 120 tourists, which include 10 foreign tourists and 12 tourists from other Indian states. Interviews were conducted with 25 travel agents and tour operators. About 41 per cent of the respondents are aged between 26-35 years, followed by

nearly 26 per cent of the respondents aged between 36-45 years and 23 per cent of the respondents aged between 16-25 years. More than 90 per cent of the respondents who are interviewed are Indian tourists and the rest 10 per cent are foreign tourists. It was clear from the interview that predominant income group is ` 10,001 20,000(per month) which is about more than 38 per cent of the respondents. All the 10 foreign tourists stated that they are earning ` 50,001 or more per month. All 12 tourists from other Indian states stated that they earn ` 30,001 or more per month. Keralites tourists mostly prefer weekend trips or one day trips, while other Indian tourists prefer either package tour or self planned tour for 3-5 days. Foreign tourists during their visit to Kerala prefer to stay for more than two weeks to visit more tourist attractive places.

Over 77 per cent of the respondents stated that they planned a trip to the tourist places

of Kerala by themselves for a general vacation and the other 22 per cent of respondents stated that they plan their vacation through a travel agency. Of the 27 respondents who organized their trips through travel agency, 19 of them are from outside Kerala (which also includes eight foreign tourists). It is also found during the study that nearly 67 per cent of the respondents stated to have visited the tourist places with their family, while about 27 per cent stated to have visited with their friends.

About 43 per cent stated to have visited tourist places in private car followed by 21

per cent of respondents stated to have used Bus. 19 of the 22 tourists from outside Kerala have organized their trips through travel agencies. So after arriving to Kerala, they have visited tourist places in bus or cab which was specially arranged by the travel agency. It is also found that, 55 per cent of respondents (all Keralites) stated to have conducted day trips. 52

Around 29 per cent of respondents stated to have stayed either in Hotels or guest houses and majority of them are tourists from outside Kerala. The study also reveals that respondents receiving a monthly income of ` 20,001 and above prefer hotel or guest house accommodation. Around 49 per cent of the respondents who stayed in Hotels and Guest houses stated that their average accommodation expense was between ` 501-1000 followed by 23 per cent of respondents stated their expense was between ` 1001- 5000. Majority of the respondents preferred low cost accommodation and stated that they wanted to spend more on other things than accommodation during their trips.

The followings findings were exclusively related for the three tourist places, Konni, Krishnapuram Palace and Panieli Poru which are taken for this study as the prospective tourist places in Kerala.

It was found that, out of the total 120 respondents, 64 respondents, (i.e. more than 50

per cent) have not visited at least one of the three places, while 35 out of these 64 respondents are not aware about any of these three places. Responses varying from 17-31 have stated to have visited the three places, Konni (31 responses), Krishnapuram Palace (18 responses) and Panieli Poru (17 responses). About 95 per cent people who have already visited these three places got information about the places through their family, friends or relatives, which indicates the role of word of mouth in promoting tourism in these three places. As it is evident from the study that nearly 74 per cent of the respondents who have visited Konni stated that they got much information about the place, while about 71 per cent of respondents who have visited Panieli Poru stated that they got much information about the place and nearly 61 per cent who have visited Krishnapuram palace stated that they got much information about the place.

The major tourist attractive spots in Konni are the elephant training centre, dense

forest, rivers and waterfalls, where as for Krishnapuram palace the attractive spots are mural paintings, archeological museum and traditional architectural buildings were as for Panieli Poru the attractive spots are dense forests, rivers and green hills, and nearly 75 per cent of the respondents who have visited these places, have visited at least twice. All the three places are 53

quite friendly locations and are easily accessible through various means of transport. Nearly 95 per cent of the respondents found the way to Konni and Krishnapuram palace with ease, but more than 50 per cent of the respondents stated that they had some problems to reach Panieli Poru, because of the poor conditions of roads to this place.

It was also found that more than 60 per cent of the respondents who have visited

Konni liked the place very much while nearly 50 per cent of respondents liked Krishnapuram Palace very much and nearly 60 per cent of the respondents liked Panieli Poru very much. Another interesting fact which was found during the study was that nearly 90 per cent of the respondents who have visited at least one of the three places said that they will recommended these places to their friends or relatives because of the variety of attractive spots. Respondents also stated that the exotic natural beauty and landscape, forest and relaxation etc were the most important factors that motivated them for visiting Konni. Respondents who have visited Krishnapuram palace stated that the Museum, antiques and silence were the important factors that motivated them to visit the place. Respondents who have visited Panieli Poru stated that nature and landscape, forest and relaxation were the important factors that motivated them to visit the place.

It is evident from the study that respondents rated certain items like relaxation and

signs as very good for Konni, while Nature conservation, temperature, transport facilities, cleanliness, noise etc are rated as good. For Krishnapuram palace, Noise, cleanliness, nature conservation and relaxation are rated as very good, while transport facilities are rated as good. For Panieli Poru, Relaxation and temperature are evaluated as very good, while nature conservation, noise and cleanliness are evaluated as good. It was also found that facilities like good hotels, restaurants and toilet facilities are required immediately for all the three places, while respondents also stated that certain items like guides and securities and cleanliness and hygiene in these places needs to be improved within six months.

About 50 per cent of the respondents who have not visited any of these three places

but are aware about the tourist attractions of these three places stated that the reason why they didnt visit is because of lack of enough information and more than 80 per cent stated that 54

they are happy to visit these places within an year and also emphasized the importance of some more developmental activities in these three places. Of the 22 tourists from outside Kerala who responded for this study, 20 of them (more than 90 per cent) are not aware about these places. In case of Keralites, of the 98 respondents, 83 respondents (more than 80 per cent) have either visited or aware about one of these three places. This indicates that the three places are only recognized by the responded tourists from Kerala who are staying nearer to these places but are not well recognized by the tourists from outside Kerala ,which shows that necessary steps has to be implemented in order to promote these three places among tourists outside Kerala.

Responses from 25 travel agents and tour operator revealed that tourist attractions like

Munnar, Thekkady, Kumarakom, Ernakulum etc are in high demand among tourists who are interested in visiting Kerala. Four stated that they have travel packages to Konni and two stated that they have travel packages to Krishnapuram palace and other two stated that they have travel packages to Panieli Poru, but stated that these are not exclusively to these places. 68 per cent of respondents stated that they offer seasonal tourist packages while 32 per cent stated that they offer only general packages. 92 per cent of tour operators/ travel agents stated that they have tie ups with travel agents from other parts of India like Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, New Delhi and Andhra Pradesh. About 68 per cent of the respondents stated that they will recommend Konni to tourists, followed by 20 per cent stated that they will recommend Panieli Poru and the remaining 12 per cent stated that they will recommend Krishnapuram palace. About 70 per cent of the agents and operators rated three places as attractive and stated that all three places have got very good potential to turn into premier tourist centers.

Apart from these findings, the study also made an attempt to analyze the major

challenges which are facing by the Kerala tourism industry and found that the unpleasant road journey to various parts of Kerala, lack of adequate information, lack of basic amenities, cleanliness and hygiene and guides service etc as major obstacles which are hampering the growth of tourism sector in Kerala.

55

5.2 Conclusions
Kerala has emerged as the most acclaimed tourist destination in the country. Beaches, warm weather, backwaters, hill stations, waterfalls, wildlife, Ayurveda, year round festivals and the diverse flora and fauna make Kerala a unique destination for tourists. The study here was aiming at understanding the major factors influencing the tourism sector in Kerala. More over the study was focusing on the three prospective tourist places (Konni, Krishnapuram Palace and Panieli Poru) and analyze the promotional strategies for developing tourism for the same. This study helped in understanding a general idea about the Kerala tourism industry. It is found that that the already established tourist places in Kerala are highly regarded by foreign tourists and tourists from other Indian states. Hence promotional measures are not relevant for these already established tourist places. From the study it was also found that the local or native tourists also play a critical role in generating tourism revenue for the state. Coming to the prospective tourist places, a lot of tourist places in Kerala are found to have very good prospects to develop as leading tourist hubs. The study also revealed that the three places that have been taken for study is noticed only by the tourists in and around these places but is not recognized by tourists from outside Kerala and from other parts of Kerala. So promotional measures should focus not only on tourists from outside Kerala, but also emphasize should be given for local tourists in order to promote these prospective tourist places. From the study it was also found that the three prospective places that have been chosen for study is very well acclaimed by the tourists who have already visited these places as well as by travel agents and tour operators, but was found that certain factors are hampering the growth of these places. The Kerala tourism industry is also facing some obstacles which are ruining its growth. It was also found that friends, relatives and families are the major source of information for people who are planning to visit/ have visited the three prospective places. It was found that lack of enough information is preventing tourists in visiting these prospective places. If proper marketing plan is done in order to promote these places, it could bring lot of benefits to our society. The development of these prospective tourist attractions will emerge as an important instrument for sustainable human development including poverty alleviation, employment generation, environmental regeneration and development of remote areas and advancement of women and other disadvantaged group apart from promoting social integration and international understanding.

5.3 Recommendations
The following recommendations are made of the study findings 56

The study shows that the already established tourist places like Ernakulum, Thiruvanathapuram, Thekkady, Munnar, Kumarakom, Alapuzha etc are very well known by the local tourists as well as by foreign tourists and tourists from other Indian states. So these already established places do not need much marketing or promotional campaigns and the state tourism department and other tourism promoting agencies must take necessary steps to promote those tourist places which has got huge prospects to grow as attractive tourist places. Effective promotional campaigns have to be created for these prospective tourist places and try to market these places by creating a USP for each of these places. Use of word of mouth marketing can be done for the three places. This can be done by sending monthly newsletters to the customers who enjoyed beauty of Kerala and subscribed in email. Design the newsletter with photos and small description of the three places. There is a high chance that they will refer their friends or relatives about the three places by the people who have already visited touirst places in Kerala.

The study shows that more than 50 per cent of the respondents have not visted and

about 30 per cent of the respondents are not aware of the three tourist places( Konni, Krishnapuram Palace and Panieli Poru) that have been chosen for study. About 50 per cent of the respondents who have not visited any of these three places, but are aware of these places stated that the major reason for not visitng these places is because of lack of enough information about these places and the study also shows that nearly 90 per cent of the respondents from outside Kerala is not aware of these three places. So necceassy steps like aggressive promotion of these three places based on their attractive spots and leisure activities, setting up information centers, publish new brochures including ratings by tourists( based on their satisfaction and experience) who have already visited these places, conducting tourism fairs in foreign countries and in other Indian states and most importantly taking intiatives for additional recreational and leisure developmental activities in these places can surely attracts tourists . It was also found that most of the foreign tourists are from Europe and USA. So necessary steps has to be undertaken to attract tourists from Asian and African countries by conducting more tourism fairs in these countries.

57

It is also recommended that the tourism

department should give advertisements about these prospective tourist places in specific journals on tourism like Traveller, Lonely Planet and TV Channels like Discovery, Animal Planet, National Geographic, Travel & living etc in order to attract more tourists from foreign countries and from other Indian states. It is also recommended that in order to attract more local tourists, the tourism department should publish advertisements in Malayalam magazines like Kalakaumudi, Deshavani etc and also in other magazines like The Week, India Today etc.

It is found from the study that all the three places

are rated very high in certain items like nature conservation and landscape, relaxation etc by the tourists as well as by tour operators and travel agents but the study reveals that certain items like hotels, cleanliness, noise, guides, toilet facilities etc is not up to the mark in these three places. An immediate action has to be taken in order to raise the standards of these service, which in turn can attract a lot of new customers to these places.

Responses collected from tour operators and

travel agents revealed that these three places have very good scope to develop as premier tourist places, but due to the lack of developmental activities in these places, they are not able to market these places properly. So it is recommended that the tourism department of the state has to implement these developmental activities immediately, which will allow the tour operators and travel agents to promote these places based on the unique features which can attract new tourists domestically and internationally. It is also recommended that the tour operators and travel agents nearer to these tourist places should join with the state tourism department to provide more travel and accomodation arrangments( as an immediate action lodging facilties has to be made in the cities/towns nearer to these places because of lack of good lodging facilities in these three places) for the tourists who are visiting these three places. The agents and opearters also should try to promote these places by publishing new brochures which includes write ups and advertisements about these three places and setting up of promotional banners is also recommended. Also it is very important to attract and target the local tourists (i.e. tourists from Kerala), which can be a cost effective method and will be having a high success rate 58

because, 95 per cent of the touists who have visited atleast one of the three places are local tourists. Measures has to be taken in order to give quality services at affordable rates for the local tourists, which wll attract more local tourists.

It is also recommended that other promotional

factors like designing Kerala theme based contests to attract domestic customers by conducting an all India contest where the winner will get chance to visit and enjoy one of the three places, circulating marketing brochure in Indian and international flights etc can be the effective methods to attract more customers to these prospective tourist places.

The state tourism department is presently

undertaking various measures in order to promote tourism in these three places. The State government has chalked out various marketing strategies to develop tourist places in a big way by giving drive to infrastructure development. Recently the eco tourism project was launched at Konni and an eco tourism centre was set up as a joint venture by the Kerala government and the Kerala forest department. Various renovations have been finished on the palace recently and developmental activities like information center and observation deck has been completed at Panieli Poru. So delivering a unique and differentiating experience by giving top order facilities like roads, cleanliness, civic amenities etc is recommended which can result in a positive word of mouth about these places and can serve as a form of advertisement.

It is recommended that the state tourism

department must undertake some necessary steps in order to promote these places and to eliminate the obstacles which are hampering the growth of these potential tourist places in Kerala. These includes, presenting friendly hospitality to tourists, special protection and arrangement for tourists to see festivals and cultural fairs, more and more domestic and international publicity, starting more tourism information centers, proper sign boards and road directions, improving the hygienic facilities at tourist places, providing necessary basic facilities, better transport facilities etc. It is also recommended that the state tourism department has to take initiatives to join forces with the private entrepreneurs to start 59

new ventures in these three places. These new ventures include starting new hotels, restaurants etc as an immediate requirement and resorts and ayurvedic therapy centers in future. Konni and Panieli Poru require hotels along with accommodation facilities, which is essential to attract more tourists from other Indian states. Focus should be given to start budget hotels in these places. Out of the three places, two places- Konni and Panieli Poru can be promoted as an adventurous tourist destination because of activities like trekking, mountain climbing etc and Krishnapuram palace can be promoted as a cultural and heritage tourist destination because of historical arts, museums, archeological buildings and paintings. Tourism in Kerala today is on the threshold of a new era of pragmatic approach to become as one of the leading tourist destination of the world. Several developmental activities are undertaken by the tourism department and promoting and marketing the prospective tourist places of the state can provide a giant leap to achieve this objective. Instituting brand ambassadors for the promotion of these prospective tourist places would be an aggressive move in promoting these places. Social media marketing and a mixture of direct and mass marketing can be used in order to promote the tourism in Kerala. The tour operators and travel agents should unite to form a common forum to promote these prospective tourist places, which can increase the state tourism revenue as well as can bring more profits to the tour operators and travel agents. More than focusing on the promotion of specific places, it will be more beneficial if they market or promote a chain of tourist places together, which can attract more tourists.

5.4 Scope for further research


The basic aim of this study was to analyze the promotional strategies for promoting three prospective tourist places in Kerala (Konni, Krishnapuram Palace and Panieli Poru). The study was restricted to south Kerala. There are many more areas of concern researchers can look up in related studies. Some of them are listed below: Other such prospective tourist places could be considered for researching. A larger sample than 120 tourists and 25 travel agents/tour operators may help in

drawing better conclusions.

60

The study is restricted to only southern parts of Kerala. Research on other

metropolitan cities in India will facilitate a more in depth analysis.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Books
Bhatia A.K; International Tourism Management, 1991, Sterling Publications Chris Cooper and Stephan Wan hill, Tourism Development and Environment and Community Issues, John Wiley & Sons, England (1997) Dilip Roy, Strategic Management- Indian Experience, Gyan Publishing House, New Delhi (1997) Malhotra K Naresh (2004). Marketing Research ISBN-81-297-0256-8, Pearson education Inc

61

Maneet Kumar; Tourism Today- An Indian Perspective, 1992, Page 12, Kanishka

Publishers

Journals and Articles


Abhay Dev, Kerala Backwater Tourism, 2007, articlesbase.com/travel-articles Ajims P Muhammad and Dr. Jagathyraj Challenges Faced by Kerala Tourism

Industry, May 2008 Conference on Tourism in India- Challenges Ahead, IIMK

Devashish Das Gupta, Marketing interventions for Tourism Promotion May 2008,

Conference on Tourism in India- Challenges Ahead, IIMK

Hory Shankar Mukerjee and Vedha Balaji Building a globally competitive Brand for

Indian Tourism- The road ahead, May 2008,Conference on Tourism in IndiaChallenges Ahead, IIMK

Jubin Joy John, Hari Sundar, Anoop Das and Ravikrishnan Study on improving the

potential for Rural Tourism in Kerala, May 2008, Conference on Tourism in IndiaChallenges Ahead, IIMK

Julie Vardhan, From a desert to a dreamland- A case of successful destination

marketing May 2008, Conference on Tourism in India- Challenges Ahead, IIMK

Manoj Edward and Babu P George Destination Attractiveness of Kerala as an

International Tourist Destination, May 2008, Conference on Tourism in IndiaChallenges Ahead, IIM Report of the Working Group on Tourism, State Planning Board, Nov 2001

Sanil Subhash Chandra Bose, Kerala Tourism- Marketing Management, Nov 2009,

www.jamaceo.com

Vijayakumar B Sustainable development of Eco-tourism in Kerala, 2001,

Department of Future studies, University of Thiruvanathapuram 62

Web Links
en.wikipedia.org planningcommisson.gov.in www.keralagov.in www.keralatourism.org www.berlin-tourism.com,www.fahren-nach-berln.de www.scotexchange.net incredibleindia.org www.ibef.org www.ibid.informindia.com www.wttc.org

APPENDIX
Appendix 1 PARTICULARS ABOUT SELECTED TOURIST PLACES

63

KONNI Konni is a small hilly town in Pathanamthitta district. By Air: Nearest airport is the Thiruvanathapuram airport which is 105 km. By Train: Tiruvalla Railway station (55 km) and Chengannur Railway Station (46 km) By road: To reach Konni by road: Kochi- Alapuzha- Changanassery- Tiruvalla- Pathanamthitta- Kumbazha- Konni Thiruvanathapuram- Anchal- Punalur- Pathanapuram- Konni Munnar/Thekkady- Kanjirappally- Erumeli- Ranni- Pathanamthitta- Konni 64

Thenkasi- Punalur-Pathanapuram- Konni

Get Around Bus- local bus service system is very efficient in Pathanamthitta and is the most

economic w ay to commute. Autoricksha- This is cheap way of transportation facility between attractions. Taxi- Both local taxis and Tourist taxis are available at cheap rates. Car- There are many car rental companies offering cars with drivers or self drive.

65

KRISHNAPURAM PALACE Krishnapuram palace is situated near Kayamkulam, Alapuzha district. By Air: Nearest airport is the Thiruvanathapuram airport which is 100 km and Kochi airport is 130 Km away. By Train: Kayamkulam Railway station (3 km) and Oachira Railway Station (5 km) By road: To reach Palace by road Kochi- Alapuzha- Haripad- Kayamkulam- Palace Thiruvanathapuram- Attingal- Kollam- Karunagapally- Oachira- Palace Munnar/Thekkady- Kanjirappally- Erumeli- Ranni- Pathanamthitta- Konni-Adoor-

Kayamkulam- Palace Get Around. Autoricksha- This is cheap way of transportation facility. Taxi- Both local taxis and Tourist taxis are available at cheap rates.

66

PANIELI PORU Panieli Poru is situated near Perumbavoor, Ernakulam district. By Air: Nearest airport is the Nedumbassery (Kochi) airport which is 35 km. By Train: Aluva Railway station (35 km) and Ernakulam Railway Station (54 km) By road: To reach Panieli Poru by road Kochi- Aluva- Perumbavoor- Panieli Poru 67

Thiruvanathapuram- Attingal- Kollam- Kayamkulam- Alapuzha- Kochi- Aluva-

Perumbavoor- Panieli Poru Munnar/Thekkady- Kanjirappally- Kottayam- Kochi- Perumbavoor-Panieli Poru

Get Around. Autoricksha- This is cheap way of transportation facility between attractions. Taxi- Both local taxis and Tourist taxis are available at cheap rates.

Appendix 2 LIST OF ABBREVATIONS KTDC BRDC DTPC KITTS DOT STB IIMK Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Bakel Resorts Development Corporation District Tourism Promotion Councils Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies Department of Tourism Scotland Tourism Board Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode

Appendix 3 68

A STUDY ON MARKETING PROSPECTS FOR SELECTED TOURIST PLACES IN KERALA Questionnaire Tourists I, Arjun K.P, student of TASMAC, University of Wales, would like to conduct a survey on assessing three prospective tourist places in Kerala (Konni, Krishnapuram palace and Panieli Poru) and to analyze the promotional strategies for developing tourism in Kerala. I would like to collect data for the purpose of analysis and I assure you that the information collected will be used for analysis/academic purpose only. I thank you for your cooperation. (General Questions relating to Kerala Tourism) 1. Name: Contact No:

2. 16-25 3.

Age (years): 26-35 Gender: 36-45 Male 46-55 Female 56-65 over 65 years

4.

Income( ` per month) 10001-20000 50,001and above 20001-30000 30001-40000

Less than 10,000 40,001- 50,000

5.

Type of holiday: LTC General Vacation Individual requirements

a) Self- organized:

b) Organized (through a travel agency): Package tour 6. Which place do you come from?

a) Which state of India you come from? 69

b) Which country do you come from? 7. With whom did you come here? Family/ Relative others (please specify)

Friends 8. Cab 9.

By which means of transport did you come to the place? Private Car Bus Train others (please specify)

Where do you stay in this trip? Hotel Guest house others (please specify)

Day trip 10.

Average daily cost per person in the place(in `) 501-1000 1001-5000 above 5001

Less than 500 11.

Places Visited in Kerala in last two years? Wayanad Ernakulam TVM Others (Please specify)

Munnar

(Questions relating to three prospective tourist destinations) 12. How did you know the place* as a tourist destination? Friend/Family/Relative TV Internet

Book/Magazine

Others (please specify) 13. Did you get enough information about the place* before coming? Much Moderately Slightly not at all

Very much 14.

How many times have you ever come here? Second time Third time Over Four times

First time 15.

Was it easy to find the way to this place*? Easy with little problem Difficult Very difficult 70

Very easy

16.

Do you want to come here again? Much Moderately Slightly not interested

Very much

If not interested, please specify the reasons

17.

What motivated you to come here among the following factors? 5 4 3 2 1

Factors Relaxation Nature Landscape Forest Silence Coolness Mountain Museum Antiques Others(Please specify) 18.

Please evaluate this place* by the following evaluation criteria? 5 4 3 2 1

Factors Nature conservation Shops Signs and information Temperature Relaxation Cleanliness Noise Transport facilities Others( Please specify)

71

19.

What do you think are necessary for this place* among the following items?

Immediately Items required 5 Information centre Guides Observation deck Hotels Restaurants Toilets Guest house Cleanliness Others( Please specify)

Required in 3-6 months 4

Required within 1-2 years 3

Required within 35 years 2

Not at all required 1

20.

What are the major drawbacks you found while visiting the place?

21.

Your suggestions for better promotion of this place

*place refers to either Konni, Krishnapuram palace or Panieli Poru . Appendix 4 A STUDY ON MARKETING PROSPECTS FOR SELECTED TOURIST PLACES IN KERALA Interview Schedule Tour operators/travel agents 72

1.

Name:

Contact No:

2.

Which are the important places in Kerala to which you offer travel

packages?

Wayanad 3.

Munnar

Kumarakom

others (please specify) Yes No

Do you Know any of these places:

4. Yes

Do you have any travel packages to these places? No

If yes, Please specify the package and kindly mention when you have started it 5. Do you have any tie up with any tourist agents in other states to offer

packages to these places? Yes No

If Yes, Please specify it 6. As a travel agent, would you recommend any of these places to any

tourists? Yes No

If yes, Please specify it 7. How would you rate these destinations? Attractive Good Average Bad

Very attractive

If very attractive please mention the attractive spots and if bad please mention the reasons

8.

Give your suggestions about what promotional measures you would like to 73

take in order to promote these places

74