Kerala Tourism Organises Partnership Meet in Mumbai
Thiruvananthapuram: Responsible Tourism, which began modestly in the palm-fringed backwaters of Kumarakom in 2008 as an experiment, has today mushroomed as the motto of Kerala Tourism. With the newly-founded Responsible Tourism Mission and Kumarakom bagging the prestigious Responsible Tourism Award at the World Travel Mart, London, it is no wonder that the ‘New Tourism Policy’ unveiled by Kerala focuses in depth on sustainable tourism initiatives. The policy also forms a major highlight of this year’s domestic campaign. The revamped fare with an array of new tourism products were showcased in Mumbai.
“To achieve an ambitious target of a 100 per cent increase in arrival of foreign tourists and 50 per cent in domestic tourists in five years, a tourism regulatory authority has been formed. This would help put a stop to any unhealthy practices and guarantee better intervention of the Tourism Department through scrutiny and a licensing system,” said Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Cooperation, Tourism and Devaswom, Government of Kerala.
Kerala, voted the Best Family Destination by Lonely Planet, the Best Leisure Destination by Conde Nast Traveller and winner of six National Tourism Awards in 2016, offers the much-needed succour and adrenaline rush to the adventure-seeking traveller. Kayaking, trekking, paragliding and river rafting are a few activities that form a part of the Eco-Adventure package.
And with the fifth edition of Kerala Blog Express, a unique social media outreach that brings together international bloggers and opinion makers around the corner, Kerala is gearing up to welcome every kind of traveller. Kerala Blog Express starts on March 12. Scheduled in the latter half of the year is another major B2B event, India’s first travel and tourism mart that has over the years helped showcase Kerala to the world. Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) brings the business fraternity and entrepreneurs behind Kerala's unparalleled tourism products and services, on a single platform. The 10th edition of this four-day event begins on September 27.
New product focus
For art aficionados, there are the dreamy lanes of Fort Kochi and the Kochi Muziris Biennale, which has changed the landscape of contemporary Indian art and helped make Kochi the art capital of India.
For history buffs looking to transport themselves to another era, there is the Muziris Heritage Project. The remains of a once thriving port offering pepper, gold, silk and ivory, frequented by Arabs, Romans and Egyptians as early as the first century BC, is today preserved across 25 museums as the largest heritage conservation project in India.
Another offering in the historical space is the Spice Route Project that rekindles the 2,000-year-old ancient sea links and shared cultural legacies with 30 countries. This UNESCO-backed endeavour has been designed to re-establish Kerala’s maritime associations with the countries on the Spice Route and to revive cultural, historical and archaeological exchanges between these countries.
The State has already registered a remarkable increase in international and domestic tourist arrivals during 2016. While international tourist arrivals during the year 2016 numbered 10,38,419 - an increase of 6.25 per cent over the previous year, the figure of domestic tourist arrivals was 1,31,72,535, marking a 5.67 per cent increase. The total revenue also saw a 11.12 per cent-increase over the previous year.
"Most foreign tourists flock to Kerala to experience its cultural heritage but what we are trying to showcase is the idea that our culture isn’t limited to performances on stage. It is ingrained in our way of life and the Tourism Department is taking small but significant steps towards helping a traveller experience the richness of Kerala, be it our temple festivals, cuisine, rural crafts, folk forms or traditional and popular art forms," said Rani George, IAS, Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Government of Kerala.
A combination of a cultural feast of Kerala’s traditional dance forms and its attractive tourism products was showcased in Mumbai.
To reach out to the domestic market, a string of partnership meets are being organised in Mumbai, Pune, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Kolkata, Patna and Delhi in the first quarter of 2018.
Further details, visit www.keralatourism.org