With the onset of the outbound tourism season in the Middle East, Kerala Tourism has rolled out a promotional campaign in Dubai targeting Arab travellers and showcasing the state's backwaters and waterfalls on taxis plying in the bustling metropolis.
As many as 200 Kerala-branded taxis will ferry the message of 'A Faraway Land Four Hours Away' with eye-catching visuals featuring hill stations, backwaters, waterfalls and also Ayurvedic therapies - through the streets of Dubai, the throbbing heart of the UAE, an official release said here today.
The campaign will see the cabs take to the streets sporting wrappings aimed to promote the state's Monsoon getaways, offering respite from the sizzling Arabian summer.
"Apart from the favourable climate, the relative proximity and excellent air connectivity between Kerala and the cities of Middle East make it easier to attract holiday makers to the state," Tourism Principal Secretary V Venu said.
"Dubai, being the hub for air travel in the region, was the logical choice of location for the marketing campaign.
The exposure and footfalls gained by Kerala will bear this out," he said.
The campaign, inspired by the previous highly successful branding efforts on London taxis and the Mumbai metro, will run till August 15.
Besides serving to augment Kerala's destination pull, it was an acknowledgment of the growing importance of the Middle East outbound tourist market, the world's fastest-growing segment with a nine per cent rise in outbound trips in 2015, the release said.
Arab tourists are also the biggest spenders. Kerala received more than one lakh visitors from the region in 2015, with some 20,506 tourists from UAE alone.
The majority came from Saudi Arabia with 51,149 Saudi nationals visiting last year, while Oman accounted for 18,763 footfalls, it said.
"As the holiday season in the Middle East coincides with the Monsoon season here, Kerala is well-positioned to benefit from the influx of travellers looking to trade in the sizzle and dust for cooler climes and greener pastures, Kerala Tourism Director U V Jose said.