Our Bureau

Thiruvananthapuram, June 23

TELEVISION stars Smriti Irani and Mona Vasu will endorse Kerala as a holiday destination in a series of ads to be telecast on Star Plus. Confirming the development, Kerala Tourism Minister Mr K.C. Venugopal said that the promotion is part of Kerala Tourism's efforts to promote the State in the domestic market.

"It is part of an extensive campaign that targets domestic tourists," he added. Kerala Tourism also hopes the advertisements will boost visitor inflows during the `off season' and strengthen the State's positioning as a year-round tourist destination.

One advertisement will feature Mona Vasu, who acts in the serial Miilee, talk about how ayurvedic holidays in Kerala revitalise her and help her cope with a busy schedule. Two other short films will feature Smriti Irani of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi talking about holidays along Kerala's backwaters and in the State's hill stations.

According to a senior tourism official, the three-ad campaign will appear on Star Plus in a few weeks. The campaign is part of an overall media package with Star Plus and has been shot by the channel, he said. An SMS contest on the channel, with holidays in Kerala as prizes, is also on the cards, he added.

The main objective of the campaign is to reach out to people in Northern India and also in states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra, said the official. Research has shown that women in these areas have a significant role in determining where the family holidays, he explained. The idea, therefore, is to use the campaign featuring Smriti Irani and Mona Vasu who are extremely popular in Northern and Western India to speak to these women and influence them to holiday in Kerala, he added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 24, 2005)
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