Biennale is focal point of new Kerala Tourism campaign: Tourism Director

Kochi, Dec 24: In addition to its successful branding as ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala will now also be promoted as the ‘Land of the Biennale’, Kerala Tourism Director Mr U.V. Jose said.

The new moniker reflects the priority afforded to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) by the Government of Kerala, which allocated Rs 7.5 crore towards operational expenses for the KMB’s ongoing third edition – besides committing to finding India’s only Biennale a permanent venue.

“Kerala Tourism has allotted around Rs 6 crore to promote both the Biennale and the state through ad films, national and international road shows and campaigns as well as other initiatives,” Mr Jose said, following a visit to Aspinwall House, Fort Kochi, on Friday.

Noting that the theme of the new campaign would be related to art, he said the Tourism Department had sanctioned Rs 60 lakh for a film to promote Kerala as the land of the Biennale.

“For the next three months, over the duration of the Biennale, Kerala Tourism will showcase it at national trade fairs, international road shows and tourism and trade conventions. We will also roll out the ‘Live Inspired’ campaign, which is themed around the inspiration and pride of having the chance to view and experience such top class artworks here,” Mr Jose said. 

The Director said that while the state was known for such distinctive offerings as its Ayurveda therapies and houseboats, the Biennale would be added to that list of iconic Kerala products. He noted that there were already links between the Biennale and the Muziris Heritage Project with Kottapuram fort in Kodungallur being one of the 12 venues for KMB 2016.

Echoing Principal Secretary (Tourism) Dr Venu’s earlier comments about the Biennale being a “stellar example” of a public-private-partnership, Mr Jose said, “Art and heritage brought together: this is a mutually beneficial relationship. The Biennale is assured of our full support.”

 “We will tell the Biennale’s story beyond its duration. Even if people don’t get the opportunity to attend the event, they will know exactly what it is. In the period between KMB editions, we will help take its story to the world,” he added

Also visiting on Friday was former Kerala State Planning Board member G. Vijayaraghavan, who observed that the Biennale’s quality had improved exponentially with each edition and that the large crowds attested to its popularity even with the demonetisation issue.

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