Listen to Top Priority Tips

Before choosing the destination
   
 
As far as Kerala is concerned, the developed & promoted destinations are few in number. The gateway cities are Cochin & Trivandrum. The famous destinations are Kovalam, Alleppey, Kumarakom, Varkala, Thekkady, Vythiri & Munnar. As far as backwater circuits are concerned, Alleppey-Kumarakom-Alleppey, Kollam-Alleppey-Kollam & Alleppey-Cochin-Alleppey are famous.

If you want to start a Tourism Venture in Kerala, please remember the following points -

 
For land based Tourism projects like Resorts, Villas, Bungalows etc, it is better to begin it at the destination itself. If begun between two famous destinations or nearer to a famous destination, then the effort required to make it successful will be very high along with increased marketing expenditure and long gestation period.
 
For Resorts & Villas, there is immense scope for making it a successful venture in Thekkady, Kumarakom & Kovalam (Chowara) as the demand for accommodation is very high & supply, less. It would be better to choose land nearer to the sanctuary site in Thekkady, at the Backwater front in Kumarakom & at the Beach front in Chowara region in Kovalam.
 
Backwater Tourism Projects, could be introduced at Cochin, Kumarakom or Poovar. Do try to avoid Alleppey as it is over-crowded with houseboats and other backwater activities.
 
For Service sector establishments like tour operations, travel agencies etc it is better to start at Cochin as this city is going to be the hub of Kerala Tourism.
 

If you are looking for a relatively new destination for investment, Vythiri, Wayanad would be a good choice.

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Before choosing the type of accommodation

 
If enough land is available for construction, it is best to choose single cottage type for resort construction. Otherwise choose duplex cottages. Try to avoid multi-storied structures in these destinations.
 
Considering the peculiarity of each destination, choose a theme and accordingly design the structure. For example at Fort Cochin, a heritage villa would be suitable - in Munnar, a typical British model bungalow - in Kumarakom, a typical Kerala village house - in Kovalam, a typical fishermen cove model. For the right decision, seek the advice of a good landscape architect.
 
While setting up a resort, ensure that it has a minimum of 28 cottages; otherwise you would not be able to accommodate tourists coming in groups and would thereby loose a substantial income.
 
While purchasing the land, the cost should be minimum. Otherwise you will have to compromise on quality construction & effective marketing.

It is better not to purchase reclaimed land (especially Chemmen Kettu area), as the cost of construction will double!

 
Try to design cottages facing the most interesting aspect or impressive view of the destination. The architect could help you in this regard.
Try to include a swimming pool even in small resorts, as it is an inevitable component of relaxation for foreign tourists.
 
It makes good business sense to go in for luxury resorts at popular destinations like Kumarakom, Alleppey, Varkala & Kovalam. This is because the arrival of high income tourists, has been increasing at a substantial rate the past couple of years. However, the tariff should be reasonable and in accordance with the market conditions.
 
Also at Kumarakom, the standard & first class resorts are very much in demand and any investment in this field will be encouraged.
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Be For Unique/Viable/Feasible projects

 
In order to catch attention and get immediate results, go in for novel projects, which at the same time are feasible & viable. For example, now at Alleppey alone, there are 200 houseboats plying. If you add one more to this number, it may not click and too much effort may be required. But instead, if you start an Ayurvedic house boat / floating conference house boat / floating nalukettu, it will be all the more easier to capture attention and grab market share without any extra effort.
But before jumping into conclusions about a project, be aware about its viability and feasibility, and for that you may contact a tourism consultant.
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Focus on Marketing

 
While planning an investment in Tourism, investors think mainly about the capital expenditure of the project. No doubt, they will find out ways to finance it - but only thereafter will they realize the big investment required for marketing. This has to be kept in mind while you plan for tourism investment.

Though your product may be competent & able to capture business, in the introductory stage, the money needed to be pumped into market is relatively high. Sufficient amount has to be allotted for marketing even before launching the product. Because, if you fail to catch the market in the introductory stage, your product will be a failure and others will take advantage of that.

A good marketing budget has to be prepared with the help of a chartered accountant & tourism marketing expert well in advance.

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Backwater & Beach Ayurveda Agenda

 

Please note that the above mentioned two terms determine the future of Kerala Tourism. Every effort in promoting backwater tourism ventures & ayurveda brings good results with a reasonably low gestation period. Many water based tourism projects in this website are ideal for the backwater & ayurveda tourism industry.

The question is- why have we mentioned these ayurvedic concepts - backwater & beach ayurveda? If we look into the success story of ayurvedic resorts, beach & backwater ayurvedic resorts are doing very well in selling their concept. This is because apart from ayurveda, foreign tourists want to experience two important attractions of Kerala viz. backwaters & the beaches. Ayurvedic treatment consumes only two hours of a day. The remaining time can be spent enjoying the beaches & backwaters. The most successful aurvedic resorts like Somatheeram (Kovalam beach), Manaltheeram (Kovalam beach), Coconut Bay(Kovalam beach), Keraleeyam (Alleppey backwaters), Kayaloram (Alleppey backwaters), etc are the best examples.

So if you start ayurveda projects, it is better to club it with beaches. Our unique project ayurvedic house boat is an ideal option.

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Manpower options

 

It is always a must to appoint tourism professionals in the industry to ensure quality service to the guests. For guest management & tour operation, it is better to depend on candidates from government managed institutions like KITTS, IITTM etc. For middle level management section in hotels & resorts, candidates from hotel management institutes should be fine. It is always better to choose well experienced and result oriented candidates for the superior posts of general manager, sales & marketing departments.

As far as water based tourism projects are concerned, select local residents who are familiar with water based tourism activities, so that local issues can be solved by them easily. For example, if a house boat damages a fishing net in the backwaters, and if the crew belong to that area, they can solve the issue amicably. Also in house boats and other related products, the appointment of a cook is very important. He should also be a local resident so as to be able to make tasty traditional Kerala food, the way mother makes it. Such authentic cuisine is being promoted in these boats rather than the Continental or Chinese.

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Local involvement

 

The success of each & every project depends on full cooperation of the locals in that locality. A hidden agenda may always cause serious problems in implementing the scheme in a time bound manner. From the start, it is good to invite local participation and make locals aware that it is their project and illustrate the advantages which they stand to gain if the project is implemented. If the locals themselves take charge of that project, then it is a winner .Try and give maximum job opportunities to the locals (skilled, lower & middle segment) while implementing the project. This is a very important point and if you ever forget this aspect, remember the fate of Bekal tourism!

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Finance controlling

 
The expenses for the implementation of the tourism projects vary significantly with the nature of construction. Generally, we can reduce the expenditure to a good extent if we follow these -
 
Purchase land at cheap rate. Don’t reveal that it is meant for a tourism venture. Avoid brokers. You can depend on your close ones to close the deal. Try to acquire maximum land in the initial stages; otherwise the land value may go up later.
 
Don’t think that all scenic areas are ideal for tourism. You /your relative may have good properties in some corners - you may believe that it is the best for starting the tourism project. But do make a study on feasibility & viability of that area in detail.
For that you can depend upon a tourism consultant.
 
Complete the project fully in a time bound manner. Opening a tourism project and partially completing it will not be a good decision. It increases your financial burden later and at the same time additional construction work will be a disturbance for the guests.
Be cautious when encountered by Government promotional propaganda. The Government is promoting KERALA as a single product and it is highlighting the merits of investment only. But as an investor think twice before you act - you should study both merits & demerits in a balanced manner.

It is now fashionable to start so-called tourism projects, only for getting Government subsidies. You may win short term in that game, but loose in the long term.

 
For bank finance, choose the best firm as your companion. The close relationship with the ‘manager of a poor bank’ will make you poorer in the long run. Better to depend on public sector banks rather than private banks. If you have enough connections, it would be better to opt for international finance institutions, as the interest rate is less.
Sign a contract with Government agencies mainly for infrastructure facilities. Only the Government can help provide basic infra-structural facilities for your projects in a time bound manner. For that, seek the top-level officers in tourism as they have more flexibility and powers in taking decisions.
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Beware of imitation!

 

If one heritage resort is set up in typical Kerala style at a destination, the next day an exact replica of the same near the original one will come up with out even changing the lay out & plan…. If one starts a two bedroom house boat another might do the same, not even changing the roof pattern! Why this copying? Do we lack concept and ideas? Or are saving time & cost? Whatever may be the reason, it is an unhealthy practice.
Thanks to Mr.Babu Varghese who has set up the first Houseboat in the backwaters & the first Tree-top hut in Wayanad.

Thanks to Mr. Jose Domenic, who has created a revolution in Kerala Tourism by the setting up the first Heritage resort - Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom, Kerala!

Thanks to Mr.Basu, who has set up the first 10-bedroom house boat in kerala- VAIKUNDAM

Thanks to Mr. Narayanan who has set up the first Floating island resort at Poovar, Kerala.

Thanks to Mr.Jose who as has started the first nature resort in Vythiri, VYTHIRI RESORT, Wayanad, Kerala.

Thanks to Mr.Varghese & Kurian, Tourist Desk who have created a revolution, introducing country craft canal cruise at Cochin & unique theme villas in remote destinations like Ezhara beach at Kannur, Tholpetty sanctuary, Top station at Munnar.

Thanks to Mr.Anoop who has started the first art café at Fort Cochin, Kerala

Thanks to Mr.Captain Chacko owner of Munkotta island, the 1 st independent & full fledged farmhouse for tourists….
Such people are limited. Try and become a unique contributor to Kerala Tourism -not an imitator. TICK will guide you to fulfill your dream.

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