Kochi: Renowned travel bloggers from across the globe set off on a fortnight’s trip along Kerala, as a luxury bus carrying 26 prominent international social media influencers from 21 countries began visiting places of tourist interest and cultural value across the southern Indian state.

The sixth edition of the ‘Kerala Blog Express’ (KBE) had its first halt at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, where the writers took a round of country’s biggest contemporary art festival that is concluding on March 29.  At the main biennale venue of Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi, the visitors were greeted by Bose Krishnamachari, founder-president of the Kochi Biennale Foundation that is organising the 108-day event in ten venues of the heritage city.

The KBE, as a unique initiative of Kerala’s Tourism Department, seeks to earn global focus on the state’s brand assets through first-hand accounts of the travellers. Their journey facilitates the visitors to write and post their experiences real-time, as the luxury coach is equipped with cutting-edge connectivity solutions. The Express this time has stronger representation from Latin American countries and has 16 of its 26 bloggers women.

“Truly amazing initiative,” is what Peruvian Nelson Mochilero, one of the KBE travellers, remarked about the biennale. “I initially thought this was a Kerala-centric event, but then this has artists from across the globe!”

Contrastingly, Shea Powell from Jamaica, has been to a couple of other biennales of the world. “Here I see artists from the developing countries, too, in good representation. That makes this show different,” she said.

KBE 6, which will conclude its journey on April 5, shaped up after organisers shortlisted more than 7,000 entries the department received from 50-plus countries. The endeavour goes by Kerala Tourism’s latest global campaign titled ‘Human by Nature’, a three-minute video film that encapsulates the scenic state’s unique charms.

The bloggers in KBE 6 includes the well-known Alex Chacon of the US and London-based Alex Outhwaite. While Chaon has traversed through more than 60 countries on a motorcycle clocking over two lakh kilometres and has two lakh followers on Youtube, Outhwaite has more than one lakh followers on Facebook. Mochilero is a creator of the first website for backpackers in Spanish, having more than six lakh followers on Facebook.

During their Kerala trip, the bloggers will be exposed to a multitude of tailored experiences, including adventure activities, Responsible Tourism initiatives, culture, classical art forms, cuisines and more, according to organisers.

Combining the effect of five editions of Kerala Blog Express, Kerala Tourism has now more than a 100 Brand Ambassadors who came to Kerala and got enchanted by the experiences.

By Manoj

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