Trivandrum: The hash tag ‘Visit Kerala’ was trending on Twitter on July 26, 2015 when Dog Rights activists across India organized protests in metros cities calling for boycotting tourism and products from Kerala against the alleged culling of rabid and aggressive street dogs.
In the past couple of weeks, the Kerala government and its tourism sector have faced a backlash through social networking mediums over the stray dog issue in the State, with a group of animal activists and the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) launching an online campaign to boycott Kerala.
The online Kerala community incensed by this ‘Boycott Kerala’ campaign which was aggressively promoted on Facebook came out to defend the State in numbers. In fact, the ‘#Visit Kerala’ campaign, initially started by Kerala Tourism to market the State, has been taken up passionately by the local people in response to the allegations.
“I am happy that Keralites have taken up the Visit Kerala campaign and made it popular, by reaching out and connecting to a large online audience. It has strengthened Kerala Tourism’s Visit Kerala 2015-16 initiative and I am confident that it will attract more tourists to the State”, said Kerala Tourism Minister, Shri A P Anilkumar.
He also added that the allegation by animal activists that Kerala government has taken a decision at an all-party meet to cull stray dogs is totally baseless. “Their subsequent widespread ‘Worldwide Boycott Kerala Movement 2015’ on the social medium is based on misinformation,” the Minister said, making a strong rebuttal of the allegation.
“I do not believe that the online campaign will affect Kerala’s tourism. The State registers a steady growth in the domestic and international tourist arrivals annually,” said Kerala Tourism Secretary, G Kamala Vardhana Rao.
Kerala Biz News