The Ernakulam District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) is all set to become the first council in the state to have a full fledged e-commerce-enabled website for itself.
The initiative was taken up in a bid to give the best deals to small and micro-entrepreneurs in the tourism industry which does not
have the marketing capability to cater to a global audience.
“The highlight of the website is that it will become a launch pad for micro entrepreneurs in the tourism industry in Ernakulam. All the approved homestays, serviced villas and other service providers will be given a slot free of cost in the website wherein they will be able to display their services and rates. Thus, they will be able to do away with the intermediaries and have a direct link with prospective customers in India and abroad. Tourists on the other hand will have the benefit of choosing from a range of facilities in the district,” said DTPC secretary T N Jayashankar.
Apart from accommodation, the tourists will also be able to book their travel and tourism packages through the website. This will be done through tie-ups with various stakeholders like tour operators. In the next phase, the website will cater to a wider range of stake holders like antique shops, handicrafts makers, traditional art performing groups and so on. On the other hand, big hotels can also put their products on the website, but this will be at a special rate.
Another highlight of the website is that the it can be used to make bookings. “This will be done with a tie-up with online travel agency Expedia. We have had talks with the company. A contract will be signed soon,” said the secretary.
Apart from this, the website will also be used to market the tourism packages of Ernakulam DTPC. The website will also act as a source of revenue through advertisements for the DTPC. The website is to be launched by November before the inauguration of the DTPC visitor’s centre.