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Kerala to prepare comprehensive plan for beautification of beaches on the advice of KJ Alphons

Thursday, September 28, 2017, 10:00 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff| New Delhi

Kerala Tourism to pilot people’s participation in tourism planning project called ‘PEPPER’ from Vaikom

Central Tourism Minister, KJ Alphons is said to have asked Kerala to prepare plan for beautification and improvement of tourist facilities at key beaches in Kerala. According to Kadakampilly Surendran, Kerala Tourism Minister, the Central Minister has asked the state to submit detailed project report to the central department for consideration and approval.

Informing this at a media conference in Delhi to announce the achievements of Kerala Tourism at the National Tourism Awards 2015-16, Surendran said that such assistance will help the State to overcome various infirmities that the beaches in Kerala are currently facing. While Kerala beaches are cleaner and better than many other Indian beaches, there is scope for improvement, he said.

Kerala Tourism together with the private industry partners won nine awards at the National Tourism Awards held at Vigyan Bhavan today.

Talking about the focus and priorities of the government in the Tourism sector, Tourism Minister said that the government gives utmost priority to Responsible Tourism which benefits the people in the villages. Focus will be on improving the “quality of guest experience” at destinations. Visitors will be given opportunity to experience the village life, and interact with the local people and understand their life, culture, etc. “Revenue generated at the destination will be ploughed back into the destination for tourism related development and empowerment of people,” he said. 

He said that a new project involving local people in the tourism decision making called ‘PEPPER’ (People’s Participation for Planning & Empowerment through Responsible Tourism) will be piloted in Vaikom area of Kottayam district at the aegis of the Responsible Tourism Mission soon. “For the first time in India Tourism Gram Sabhas will be established in every Panchayat, which will undertake activities like tourism mapping, product development, marketing, etc.”, he said. 

The Tourism department will launch 20 new village life experience packages this year as part of promoting Rural and Responsible Tourism, the Minister said. 

North Kerala is a major thrust area for tourism development of the current government, the Minister said. A major project for developing Malabar Cruise Tourism circuit connecting eight rivers in Kannur and Kasaragode districts are underway. It will cover 197 km of river cruise, he said. While the state government has already started the groundwork by allocating INR 300 cr for the project, the state will also approach the Central ministry for financial support, he said. 

Kerala Tourism won six awards at the National Tourism Awards. The categories in which the State bagged awards include Best Responsible Tourism Project/Initiative for Kumarakom, third best State in Comprehensive Development of Tourism, Most Innovative Use of Information Technology, Excellence in Publishing in Foreign Language other than English, Best Tourism Promotion, Publicity Material, Best Civic Management of a Tourist Destination (Category C) Sarovaram Bio Park, Kerala.

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