Leveraging the state’s unique destination pull and brand appeal to woo visitors in the digital space, an app-driven campaign from Kerala Tourism offers sojourns in ‘God’s Own Country’ at throwaway prices if you have luck on your side.
The latest in a string of innovative marketing initiatives, the first-of-its-kind ‘A Kerala Holiday a day’ offer gives users of Kerala Tourism’s scaled-up ‘Go Kerala’ app the chance to bid to win a vacation in the state every day over the contest’s duration. The app has already been downloaded more than 30,000 times.
Launched as an Independence Day promotion, the contest features new attractive tour and stay packages rolled out daily. These are then bid on through an online auction system that rewards the ‘lowest unique bid’. In this bidding system, the package is awarded to the user whose bid is the lowest as well as unique. That is, if two users bid the same price, they will cancel each other out.
Already, a winning bidder has received a premium Kerala package valued at Rs 28,000 – which includes boarding for three days and two nights, Ayurvedic massage and elephant ride – for the throwaway rate of nine rupees.
“With the packages wholly supported through tie-ups with accredited industry and trade partners, the innovative contest will ensure consolidation of Kerala’s status as the dream getaway. The opportunity for our visitors to take a relaxing houseboat cruise on the backwaters or delight in the many diverse destinations and vistas on offer at incredible rates will undoubtedly keep them coming back for more,” said Shri A.C. Moideen, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala.
The contest is geared towards continuous user engagement with the implementation of a points system that will reward the user with points, which are then redeemable against souvenirs and Kerala holidays. Simply downloading the app nets 1,000 points, while there are points to be had for registering and bidding for packages. If the margin of a bid loss is close, the bidder is compensated with points.
“With the year-round engagement enjoyed by Kerala Tourism and a user base that is as large and diverse as it is diasporic, the state is well positioned to benefit from such campaigns. They are as much an avenue to acknowledge and further our relationship with our fans as they are marketing tools,” said Principal Secretary for Tourism in Kerala Dr Venu V.
Kerala Tourism, which has more than 1.2 million fans on Facebook, is a pioneer in cross-platform campaigns to spread word on state destinations. In July, it won a national tourism award for the ‘Most Innovative use of Information Technology’ – Social Media/Mobile App. The Tourism Department’s website, one of the most popular such websites in the world, has won several national and international tourism awards.
Noting that such initiatives would augment destination pull to the state, Kerala Tourism Director Shri U.V. Jose said, “Strategies like these provide Kerala added visibility and traction in the fast-moving digital arena as also provide our visitors greater access to the state.”
The ‘Go Kerala’ app is available for download on Android from the Google Play store. The iOS version is expected to be launched soon.