Incredible India – A Case of Kerala
V S Santhosh
P.G. Dept. of Commerce,
V TM NSS College,
Tourism Industry in India is one of the most lucrative industries in the country and contributes substantially to foreign exchange earned. In fact during 2008, four million tourists visited India and spent US $8.9 billion, thus making India one of the major global tourist destinations. Augmented tourism in India has created jobs in a variety of associated sectors, both directly and indirectly. Tourism is one of the success stories of the 20th century and is concerned more with the satisfaction of individual rather than with the scientific and technological achievements. Almost 20 million people are now working in India’s Tourism Industry. India’s tourism is thriving, owing to a huge flow in both business and leisure travel by foreign and domestic tourists and is expected to generate approximately US$ 275.5 billion by 2018.
Tourism has been a major social phenomenon, which is motivated by the natural urge of every human being for new experience, adventure, education and entertainment. The motivations for tourism also include social, religious and business interest. Tourism and leisure are perhaps the two nicest things in modern society, which helps to promote peaceful co-existence, pleasure of the individual and well being of the general public. It is a smokeless industry and it has its own direct and indirect effect on economy which regarded as effective instrument of economic development with understanding of social, cultural and political life of the society, which leads to a healthier global understanding.The importance of tourism as an instrument for economic development and employment generation, mainly in remote and backward areas, has been well documented the world over.
In tourism, the product from a destination view point is a combination of various elements or components, some of which are tangible and some are intangible. The only open path for the organization in this case would be to let somebody know itself about the consumer needs, expectations, and attitudes of mind, likes and dislikes in order to put together and constantly build up the tourism products. Tourism products have to be consumer oriented. This implies that, we can no longer sell what we produce; we have to produce what consumers consider as their needs. The selling focuses on the needs of seller, marketing focuses on the needs of the buyer. The real tourist product is therefore, usually composite whether the customer buys it in packaged form or assembles it himself.
Kerala the tiny state in the central tract at the extreme southwest corner of the Indian Peninsula has received worldwide acclaim in the recent years for it’s exceptional development pattern, often hailed as ‘Kerala model of Development’. The economy of Kerala is one model and object lesson an economy which operates at a low economic level, but which ensures a high quality of life to its people. In fact, the genesis of this development strategy and the ‘Kerala Model’ does not lie entirely with the state Governments in the Post-independence period, but many be traced to the pre- independence colonial period of the state under the native kings too.
Kerala has a social, cultural and natural environment, which needs to be preserved. It is this environment that is valued the most by the fastest growing segment of the tourism and travel market, the upper end international tourist. Kerala has the best of what a perceptive international tourist can hope for in terms of natural attractions, social and cultural environment, physical quality of life and so on.
Kerala potential is not confined to historic monuments or the natural beauty of the place alone. The picture that stays intact in the minds of visitors from abroad are the ordinary routines of the ordinary lives of the ordinary people of Kerala-fisherman gathering on the beach and through a concerted effort, launching their country boats into the sea, groups of children going to school in colorful uniforms; women plucking tea leaves in the high ranges the chinese fishing nets of Kochi, tiny country boats moving idly through the narrow canals of Kuttanadu etc. The over all beauty of the place, the high rate of literacy, the generally friendly approach of the people, excellent climatic conditions and relatively clean surroundings all add to this joyful picture of Kerala.
The Government of Kerala declared tourism as an industry in 1986. But the primary responsibility of developing the basic infrastructure essential for industrial growth was some how left unfulfilled. Tourism is the fastest growing Industry in Kerala. Tourism needs to be marketed, just as any other products indeed more so, because it is an industry in which the customer still has an immense variety of choice. However, the marketing of tourism is not same as that of marketing of consumer goods, and there for it should be bear in mind the major differences by those who market the tourism products, for a successful promotion of the images of tourist places. We, therefore, need to re-orient ourselves in our outlook and strategy to promote sustainable and eco-friendly tourism.
How to sell tours successfully
1. Market Research: Tours should be planned and packaged after a well planned market research. It reveals what tours are and what would be in demand. Historical trends are also a good gauge for future purpose. A good package should contain most acceptable products and contains those products which actually need the segment of market.
2. New Product Development: It is the prime objective of the provider to identify and introduce new products/tours. It is also advisable to introduce lesser known areas and create new demands and interests and make them more attractive. Do not pack too much places and too much products in a single package.
3. Time Effect: The new tour products should be made at proper time and tours have an appropriate time, season and place to promote depending on the habits of customers their holiday patterns and the type of a tour. National behavior show that the people from England plan their next holidays around December. The pattern of arrival of tourists may vary from place to place and from time to time. Hence, it is to be learned in advance and launch those products in time for getting maximum result. Select the best dates and season, during which to concentrate on a coordinated group of offering and provide a good selection for the customers.
4. Proper Mix: The tour organization must make acquainted itself fully with components of each tour, the services and attractions offered and must personally and critically experience what the tour has to offer. He must personally known the contractors, their competence and examine the equipment to be used by them and have a full awareness of the quality and reputation of the personnel who deal with the tour groups.
5. Segmentation: The tour operator should familiarize with market segments having potential for sale of the tours. A prudent tour operator must act with personal knowledge, prosperity, enthusiasm and purposefulness, to satisfy the needs of the tourists.
6. Marketing Plan: Professionally formulated marketing plan should follow thoroughly and dynamically.
7. Marketing tools: For marketing and promoting tour packages, appropriate marketing tools should be preferred and implemented. News letters, brochures, slides, CDs, DVDs, films, show cards, websites etc can be used in popularizing tour packages.
The tourism is highly competitive business where more than 125 countries are engaged in attracting tourists. Kerala has to be marketed as an important tourist destination. An image building exercise has to be carried out to connect the erroneous impressions. The projection of Kerala’s vastness and a wide variety of tourist attractions would be a challenge to our marketing effort.
Association of Tourism Trade Organizations, India (ATTOI) is playing an important role in creating a common platform for all tourism service providers to build business relationship among members and explore avenues as community in harnessing resources outside the normal gambit of individual resources. The key objective of ATTOI is to build awareness within India and abroad about the potentials of tourism in India. “Integrity in Tourism” is it’s prime motto.
Tourism brings affluence to the host nation by creating employment opportunities, generating income, foreign exchange earning and improvement in overall quality of life. This is getting hold of importance day-by-day. The Government has realized the massive potential of tourism which is now balanced to become the major industry in Kerala. The economists, professionals and experts in this field believe that tourism will become the core industry of Kerala.
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