A gloomy-faced homestay owner, a heavy-hearted driver waiting at an airport for weeks, a Kathakali artiste staring at the darkness, a cook silently lamenting her missing secret ingredient — the video starts on a melancholic note. But a child comes running, announcing ‘they have arrived’ and the mood lifts. Happiness spreads and there’s a celebratory mood as people walk in. ‘We are open’ — reads the placards in the hands of smiling people — fish vendors, drivers, labourers and children.
Another video features a lone fisherman on a catamaran sailing into the horizon, delving into the deep sea and returning with his big catch; the frame cuts to a chef’s kitchen where he dresses the cooked fish, ready to be served. The video ends with a note: ‘Fish has been an integral part of our cuisine and Kerala fish curry has conquered palates all around the globe. Out here, traditional fishing methods are still alive and fishermen brave the seas on indigenous watercrafts like catamarans. The delight from the visuals is epidemic.’
This World Tourism Day dawned with much hope and happiness over these visuals — of advertisements! With the hope-filled tagline ‘Kerala Is Open’, Samsonite, in its latest advertisement with beautiful frames, announces how Kerala is waiting for tourists to rebuild its economy and tourism. Kerala Tourism too has brought out ads with the hashtags Kerala tales and It’s Time for Kerala, making it clear to the world that the state is limping back to business after the floods that may have ravaged the geography but was unable to affect the indomitable spirit of the people.
The ads received numerous likes and shares on various social media platforms. Among the around 5,000 shares received by the Samsonite ad, one is from state Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, who tweets, “Kerala Tourism is in its revival after the dreadful floods that hit our state. But we have come a long way now & #KeralaIsOpen for all of you. It’s time for Kerala.” That the tourism sector in God’s Own Country is getting back to its feet comes as a matter of pride and confidence to the people who had taken a hit in the calamity. Just a day ago had Surendran made an announcement to start a solar-powered miniature train service at Veli Tourist village in
Thiruvananthapuram. The proposed project planned at Rs 9 crore will have a 2-km track and will be a first-of-its-kind green initiative in the country. While the government is focusing on various new programmes to boost tourism, Kerala Travel Mart has kicked off in Kochi. The event, which is expected to be attended by representatives from 66 countries, will go on until Sunday....