The Great Backwaters to Rival Other Wonders of the World

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 24: Kerala Tourism is set to launch a new global campaign to catapult the state’s majestic backwaters into the league of the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Voted ahead of the Taj Mahal in a National Geographic Traveller survey of top Indian tourism destinations, the backwaters of Kerala are to be unveiled as a self-contained experience in the new campaign shot using advanced aerial photography techniques.

A high profile ad blitz in the national and international media as well as the social network are the highlights of the ‘Great Backwaters’ campaign that will have its inaugural run later this month. The Great Backwaters campaign features the first of its kind, high quality aerial photographs of the backwaters. It is also one among the largest aerial still photography projects ever undertaken in the state.

“The backwaters of Kerala are not about houseboats alone,” said Kerala Tourism Minister Shri A P Anilkumar. “It is about discovering a fascinating water world unlike any other on our planet,” he added.

The ‘Great Backwaters’ campaign is expected to significantly increase the number of both foreign and domestic visitors to Kerala, boosting the state’s development while bringing in valuable foreign exchange to the country.

“Many countries are bestowed with great reserves of water, but there is none as gifted as Kerala where nature’s most amazing resource creates a magical world for the visitor,” Shri Anilkumar said. “It is a world of astounding visual beauty, abundant flora and fauna and a vibrant cultural life,” he added.

The unique images of the backwaters were captured for the domestic and international campaign by advanced cameras secured in a highly sophisticated and custom designed eight-rotor  helicam. The aerial shoot was controlled from a customized boat equipped with a miniature helipad to facilitate the take off and landing of the helicam. The different shoot locations were identified during a reconnaissance helicopter flight prior to the actual shoot. The print campaign will begin to appear in international and national magazines by the beginning of November.

“Kerala is blessed with 44 rivers and a network of canals and lakes stretching from one end of the state to the other,” said Kerala Tourism Secretary Shri Suman Billa. “ Here in our backwaters, the primordial relationship between mankind and water comes alive like nowhere else. Whether it is the canal networks, floating markets, houseboats, snake boat races or a whole way of life that thrives around water, this is a miracle of nature that will captivate the world.” he added.The idea of the ‘Great Backwaters’ campaign traces its origin to the “fascinating waterworld experience” narrated by the visitors to Kerala, who discovered life and culture in all its different, interesting forms at play in this vast, self-sustaining world. The aerial perspective of the campaign was particularly chosen to capture the planet-like largeness and the diversity of life in the backwaters. The three key geographical features of the backwaters – islands, river networks and lakes — will be highlighted in the campaign through aerial photography.

The 25-member crew which shot across the backwaters was led by renowned aerial photographer Mr Ville MJ Hyvönen from Finland’s capital and Mr. Shelton Pinheiro, Creative Director, Stark Communications. Mr. Hyvönen’s team has carried out aerial photography projects in several international destinations, including the Middle East, Europe, Asia and South America earlier.

The campaign, the first of its kind for the destination was conceptualized and created by Stark Communications, which handles marketing and communications for the state tourism department.

“As one of the vital elements of brand Kerala, the backwaters deserve a special campaign to showcase their vast potential as a leading international attraction,” said Kerala Tourism Director Shri S Harikishore. “We felt that an innovative perspective like this is definitely needed to draw the attention of the evolved international traveller to this ‘waterworld’,” he added.

The Great Backwaters campaign will include digital marketing activities which will also see the launch of a separate micro-site (www.greatbackwaters.com).

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