Setting sight on the post-pandemic upsurge in tourism activities, Kerala has rolled out a string of new projects at a cost of Rs 60 crore, giving greater visibility to 25 spots, many of them in rural and semi-urban areas in the length and breadth of the state.
Inaugurating the projects through video conferencing, Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday that tourism in the state is on the comeback trail from the pandemic-induced crisis and the government is committed to providing all support to the sector.
He noted that the Government did not allow the disruptions caused by COVID-19 to come in the way of implementation of tourism development projects across the state, which will position these destinations as must-see places for visitors.
In Kerala, tourism is a source of income for large sections of people. After remaining shut for eight months due to the pandemic, tourism centres in the state have started receiving visitors by strictly adhering to health protocols, thereby restoring livelihood of the people affected by the disruption, the Chief Minister said.
The promotion of Responsible Tourism in a big way has brought benefit to local communities throughout the state, and the newly launched projects will boost their income. Also, it will help preserve our heritage including art, handicraft, unique farming methods and cuisine, Shri Vijayan said.
Noting that Responsible Tourism has its emphasis on conservation of ecology and heritage, Shri Vijayan said “air, soil, water, flora and fauna and art and culture are our common assets, and tourism in Kerala is based on these invaluable inheritance.”
Tourism Minister Shri Kadakampally Surendran said the new projects will help tourism overcome from the crisis and maintain its status as India’s ‘Super Brand.’
Tourism is a key component of the state’s revenue and a major employment provider. So, tourism development projects are planned and implemented to achieve sustainable development goals, Shri Surendran added.
Smt Rani George IAS, Principal Secretary, Tourism, said the state has launched a new marketing campaign called “Change of Air” to help tourism overcome the ravages of the pandemic and maintain its status as India’s ‘Super Brand.’
She said the new projects are conceived and implemented in such a way that the local community is the principal beneficiary of them.
Tourism Director Shri P Bala Kiran IAS said these last years was a period that saw great progress in infrastructure development in tourism. The state has also launched new products such as Malanad River Cruise project, he said.
The projects dedicated include Thalassery Heritage Project Phase-1 (Kannur), Sasthampara Tourism Project (Thiruvananthapuram), Aranmula Destination Development (Pathanamthitta), Ramakkalmedu Tourism Development Project (Idukki), Kumarakom Cultural Centre, Thunchan Smaraka renovation (Malappuram) Kappad Beach Tourism Project (Kozhikode) and Bekal Beach Park (Kasaragod).
Other projects, located in different districts, are Shankumugham Chacha Nehru Park Recreation Club, Asramam Ground Beautification, Village Crafts Museum & Sales Emporium, Kottarakkara Pulamon Thodu, Meenpidipara Tourism Project, Perunthenaruvi Tourism Project, development of Micro Destination ( Thazhappu), Arukutty Houseboat Terminal, Erumeli Tourism Hub, Cheppara Eco Tourism Village, Rock Garden, Arippara Waterfalls, Thonikkadavu Tourism Project, development of Karapuzha Dam and premises, Kanthanpara waterfalls renovation, Pazhassi Park beautification-phase-2, Thalassery Heritage Project-phase-1, New Mahe Boat Terminal, Mavilakadappuram Boat Terminal and Bekal Beach Park.