Economy

Kerala Tourism woos NRKs, launches ‘audio tour'

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on February 17, 2011

Under the initiative, NRKs will need to first register on the homepage of the Kerala Tourism Web site (www.keralatourism.org/bhf/). The facility for registration of NRKs is already functional.





Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs) can now invite friends from their places of domicile to their home State earn a free holiday for themselves.

The Kerala Tourism Department on Wednesday launched the ‘Bring Home a Friend' initiative for the Keralite Diaspora to promote the State as a destination. A unique ‘Audio Guide' was also launched alongside.

Dedicated number

The audio guide covers all tourist destinations rendered in multiple languages and allows a visitor to receive audio tours of the State's tourist destinations on their mobile phones by dialling a dedicated number.

Both initiatives are part of the department's efforts to use technology to promote tourism.

The Tourism Minister, Mr Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, launched both the initiatives at a function where various efforts of the department at using technology for promoting tourism were showcased.

First proposed by the Minister at a conference of NRKs held in Kochi in December last year, the initiative allows Keralites living elsewhere to invite friends and colleagues to the State for earning reward points, which could be redeemed for their own visit to Kerala.

ACCREDITED OPERATORS

The initiative seeks to involve NRKs and Government-accredited tour operators. The department has already introduced an online system for accrediting tour operators and has created a Web-based platform that links NRKs and service providers.

Under the initiative, NRKs will need to first register on the homepage of the Kerala Tourism website ( >www.keralatourism.org/bhf/). The facility for registration of NRKs is already functional.

Early bird offers

The first phase of registration process will continue till March 1 and NRKs who register will get early registration surprise gifts from Kerala Tourism through a draw of lots.

Once the registration is over, the NRKs can refer their friends to the same website. Each reference will be automatically forwarded to three accredited tour operators, who in turn will present their packages to the prospective visitors.

REWARD POINTS

The system will automatically award an NRK who has thus referred a friend successfully points at ten per cent equivalent of the package value, excluding flights.

The NRK will have the advantage of redeeming the aggregate points by availing a holiday in Kerala or can gift this holiday entitlement to friends or relatives.

The scheme has been structured to provide an opportunity to them to promote tourism, Mr Balakrishnan said.

“However, we are keen that this is done in a professional manner and that is why we have decided to link this scheme with approved tour operators. We also want to utilise technology in the development of the tourism sector,” he added.

10-DIGIT NUMBER

The tourism department has accredited 29 tour operators, who have been selected and considered trustworthy in conducting business by a committee comprising tourism industry representatives.

The audio tour guide service by Kerala Tourism, in association with MobME Wireless Solutions, can be availed by dialling the 10 digit number ‘9048755555'.

Vodafone has emerged as the technology partner and has offered server space, a dedicated line and number with user friendly IVR (interactive voice response).

The audio tour will enable the users to fast forward, rewind, pause and replay the description. The ‘Audio Guide' can be accessed from any part of the globe round the clock. Calls will be charged at standard call rates only.

All information will be available on the same platform, in multiple languages, including English, Hindi and Malayalam.

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Published on February 17, 2011
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