Thiruvananthapuram: Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said on Monday that Kerala Tourism was embarking on a brand-building mission to make the state one of the most sought-after global destinations.
He was speaking after distributing prizes to winners of the second Clint Memorial International Childrens Online Painting Competition. He said though Kerala has firmly positioned itself on the world tourism map, there were still potential markets to be tapped.
“One of the biggest challenges Kerala is facing in tourism sector is that it has to compete globally. We mostly try to attract visitors who would have gone to Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Malaysia or Indonesia for various tourism activities,” he said.
The competition was conducted in memory of prodigious child artist Edmund Clint.
Clint (1976-83) was a Kochiite who drew more than 25,000 pictures in 2,522 days of his life before a prolonged illness cut short his life.
"Historically, many foreign tourists tend to go back after visiting the Golden Triangle comprising Agra, Jaipur and Delhi," he said.
There were also visitors who look for destinations like Goa or choose to make trips to the Himalayan region. This showed that despite its inherent strength like nature, culture and cuisine, Kerala was able to lure tourists only by projecting the land as a premium brand, Surendran added.
There were 110 winners in the competition, and 15 of them were eligible for attractive tour packages with family.
Ten of the 15 were from foreign countries.
The first prize went to Parth Joshi, 12, of Vadodara in Gujarat, while Nafisa Tabassum Authay, 14, of Bangladesh won the second prize and Aaradhya, a six-year-old Malayalee girl fetched the third prize.