Thiruvananthapuram: Highlighting that safety and quality are pivotal for the growth of high-potential Adventure Tourism in Kerala, Kadakampally Surendran, State Tourism Minister, has said that 50 major adventure tourism centres in the State will be upgraded to meet the national and global standards.
The Minister’s announcement came during the launch of a set of comprehensive safety and security regulations to position the State as a prime secure and hassle-free destination for adventure-loving holidaymakers and nature buffs.
Surendran also launched an Online Accreditation Portal to provide registration for qualified Adventure Activity Providers (AAP), based on the guidelines drawn up by Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society (KATPS), under the State Tourism Department. The validity of the registration is for two years.
Noting that Kerala Adventure and Activities-Based Tourism Safety and Security Regulations set guidelines for the conduct of 31 land, water and air-based activities, the Minister said, Muzhappilangad (Kannur) Kaapil (Varkala) and Vagamon (Idukki) will be designated as adventurous tourism centres. “A proposal to set up adventure parks in all districts is also under the consideration of the government,” he said.
Listing out five ways to develop adventure tourism, he said, first, the basic infrastructure at the existing adventure tourism spots needs to be developed. This should be followed by identifying and developing new spots, promoting public-private projects and creating a circuit connecting adventure tourism centres. Finally, the State has to promote its adventure tourism brand nationally and internationally. Currently, KATPS in association with the Forest Department is conducting activities in forest areas, he explained.
“Soft adventure parks have already been started at Veli in Thiruvananthapuram; Asramam and Thenmala in Kollam; Karlad in Wayanad and Kottappuram in Thrissur district. Preparations are in the final stages in Munnar to launch paragliding activities. Besides, an Adventure Tourism Academy will be set up at Sasthampara near the State Capital,” the Minister added.
Rani George IAS, Secretary, Tourism, presiding over the function, said, “approval has been given for commencing a training course in adventure tourism at Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS), in association with private tour operator Muddy Boots,” she added.
P Bala Kiran IAS, Director, Tourism, also spoke. Manesh Bhaskar, CEO, KATPS, D K Vinod Kumar IFS, Director, Ecotourism; Aneesh Kumar P K, Association of Tourism Trade Organisations India (ATTOI); Pradeep Murthy, ATTOI; Baby Mathew Somatheeram, President, KTM Society and E M Najeeb, Senior Vice President, IATA were present on the occasion.
The guidelines were evolved by an expert committee, which mostly focused on 31 adventure tourism activities. While doing this, the panel had also taken into consideration the Adventure Tourism Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.