Kerala probably is one of the very few places on earth where politics is so deep rooted that even the common man passionately follows and participates in the political activities with zeal. The euphoria of elections in Kerala and the feverish pitch of electioneering that hits its crescendo in the last lap of electioneering is something that has to be seen to believe. This stunning sight has become the backdrop of many movies and novels and now Kerala is planning to introduce the innovative concept in tourist trails in the form of Election tourism, which could be promoted in the next two months when the state gets ready to face the election heat yet again!
Imagine the scene where a stereotype politician clad in crisp white – khadi coming up with his customary ear to ear grin and folded hands to the wide-eyed tourist:) The KTDC chairman Cheriyan Philip finds good scope in this niche area of election tourism . “Election tourism can help to bring some additional revenue to the tourism industry during off season. A discount package for two weeks from April 1 to April 15 is a really marketable idea. ” says the KTDC chief.
The innovative tour operators can wrap up the sights and sounds of a typical Kerala electioneering campaign in a package that combines some of the regular tourist spots in the state with the frenzied door-to-door campaigning and the high decibel street corner meetings that goes into the making of a typical day for a candidate. The tourists from the UK, US and Europe will be truly surprised by the highly charged up mood of celebration that goes hand in hand with the elections in India, which is in striking contrast to the sober poll activities in that part of the world.
The field is quite open as no tour operator in the state has so far come forward to experiment with the innovative idea of election tourism . In fact not many travel agents are keen on the proposal as they feel that only academicians or political science students come here for the sole purpose of watching the election and to compile data for their research projects. But the popularity and ease of online and social media have made it all very easy these days, which makes travel redundant.
As the political parties in the fray are working overtime to come out with plans to woo the vote bank, the tourists who reach Kerala might get a rare chance to experience the thrills and spills election tourism at its best in Kerala if this novel concept gets any takers!
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