Smriti Irani to promote Kerala tourism
BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
18 June, 2005: Godís Own Tourism Department has finally decided to endorse brand Kerala with the help of popular Hindi TV star Smrithi Irani of the Kyunki Saaas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi fame, media reports said.
Keralaís ad blitz will soon appear on yuppie channels Star Plus, Star Movies, NDTV, Sony and HBO. The obvious aim seems to woo the elite class for tourist packages during the off-season. Industry sources say despite the high voltage campaign to sell brand Kerala, with the lure of Ayurveda and monsoon packages, tourist arrivals have not met the expectations during off-season. This is exactly what Smriti Irani is expected to do: Rope in people to Kerala
through the kitchen.
The Kerala tourism honchos are of the view that the house wifeís are the decision makers in majority of the upper middle class households. And that popular TV actresses have a sweeping influence on these house wifes. Taking this into consideration, Smriti has been reportedly roped in. Mona Vasu of Milee has also been reportedly signed for Kerala tourismís ad blitz, which is to be directed by Keralaís own Santosh Sivan.
The BJP had roped in Smriti Irani as a candidate for the Lok Sabha polls, but the electorate had given her a snub. She was defeated in the Chandni Chowk seat in Delhi by Union Minister Kapil Sibal.
Kerala was selected as one of the 10 must see locations of the world By National Geographic traveler. International tourist arrivals to Kerala recorded a 16.69% rise in 2004, year-on-year. Around 5.8 million domestic tourists visited the state in the year, up 0.101 million from the previous year. On an average, international tourists spend 14 days in Kerala, while the comparative figure for domestic tourists is 6.
The state tourism department went on an overdrive in 2004, showcasing its inherent advantages in 12 domestic and six international tourism fares. Kerala has recently shifted focus to some European countries in a bid to rope in more international tourists. The state government is also aggressively promoting tourism to rake in money.
Lufthansa Airlines had recently signed an MoU with the Union Ministry to operate direct services to Kerala from Europe, as part of this. Initially, the services would be from Frankfurt or Munich to Kochi.