In yet another unique online campaign, Kerala Tourism has set the ball rolling for bringing together 25 ace bloggers from around the world, who will board a branded luxury bus – Kerala Blog Express for a two-week-long road journey that will take them from the southern part of the State to its north. Slated to take place in March this year, the process for selecting the bloggers has begun and for the purpose Kerala Tourism has launched - www.keralablogexpress.com, which would facilitate online voting as part of the selection.
Some of the top travel bloggers from India and abroad have thrown their hats in the ring as part of the selection. The last date of registration for the ‘Kerala Blog Express’ ended on 10 January. The profiles of bloggers contesting in the selection are on the Kerala Blog Express website for voting. Public can cast their online votes till January 15. Bloggers with the highest votes will take their seats on the Kerala Blog Express, which will begin its two-week journey of Kerala on the 1st of March 2014.
"This is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country to attract the travel blogger community for a first-hand experience of our land, its geography and culture," said Mr. A.P. Anilkumar, Minister for Tourism, Kerala.
In response to the selection process, Kerala Tourism received entries from as many as 80 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, Spain, Germany and Canada. Top travel bloggers like Marcello Arrambide, Cezar Dumitru are taking part in the selection. Some of the bloggers have already been featured in the National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveller and the Lonely Planet.
" For two weeks, our State will be transformed into the capital of travel bloggers," said Mr. Suman Billa, Secretary, Kerala Tourism. The two-week, up close experiences in Kerala for the bloggers include boating in the backwaters, Ayurvedic treatment, Kathakali performances; besides giving bath to captive elephants.
"These bloggers have millions of followers around the world. Just imagine how they would blog about Kerala; its nature-blessed destinations or cuisine or culture, following the two-week journey through the State," said Mr. S Harikishore, Director, Kerala Tourism.
Already, several participants have blogged about their upcoming experience. For instance, US-based bloggers Veronica and David James had this to say in their new post after entering the contest: "Kerala Blog Express would be a stepping stone to experience Kerala nature along with other travel bloggers."