Adventure and Ayurveda in Kerala
Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Co-Operation, Tourism and Devaswom, Government of Kerala, reveals their plans to develop new tourism products in Kerala and the way forward to bring in more tourists.
QWhat kind of growth did Kerala tourism witness in the last year?
Kerala hosted 14,673,520 domestic tourist arrivals in 2017 with an increase of 11.39 per cent as compared to previous year. In 2017, the state has registered the highest percentage of growth in domestic tourist arrivals since last nine years. Kerala Tourism has witnessed positive signs of attaining the set goal in the domestic tourism circuit with an increase of 15 lakh new tourists, as per the latest statistics.
Also, Kerala has witnessed a growth of 5.15 per cent in foreign tourist arrivals, while attracting 1,091,870 FTAs in 2017. The State Tourism Department has recorded 33,383.68 crore in total revenue generated from the sector as compared to
29,658.56 crore last year.
QWhat targets have you set for 2018? Every year, the Tourism Department of Kerala aims to increase domestic tourists’ arrival by over 8 per cent and international tourists’ arrival by 13 per cent. The state has been following a comprehensive tourism development plan to double the number of foreign tourist arrivals and increase domestic tourist arrivals by 50 per cent, by 2021.
QWhat kind of steps are you taking to promote adventure sports in the state?
Kerala offers a wide range of adventure activities, including tracking, paragliding, river rafting, kayaking, wildlife sanctuaries, etc. The latest development in this segment is Adventure Rock Hill at the Jatayu Earth Centre, which is now operational for public in groups.
The State Government has planned to develop 10 ecotourism circuits to connect various forests to promote green tourism. The Government of Kerala has also envisioned
300-crore project for nine rivers in Kannur and Kasaragod to promote river tourism and is all set to launch a host of adventure and activity-based tourism projects in Alappuzha, Malabar region, Wayanad, etc. such as paragliding, paddling and kayaking.
QWhat new tourism products will you focus on this year?
Kerala Tourism has been extensively focusing on promoting Northern Kerala, which has immense untapped tourism potential. With the aim to increase the geographical spread of tourist arrivals to the state, Kerala Tourism plans to promote its Malabar region aggressively through a ` 325 crore project, which includes unexplored destinations such as Kozhikode, Wayanand, Bekal and Kannur. Under the new tourism policy, the tourism department has proposed to establish 1000 new classified homestays in the state at destinations like Malabar region. Emphasising on cruise tourism and targeting highspending tourists, Kerala Tourism has envisaged a ‘River Cruise Tourism’ project on the model of the Nile Cruise, developing the 450km inland waterways from Hozdurg to Kovalam. Further, Kerala Tourism has planned to develop ‘Malanadu cruise’, a river cruise project.
QITB Berlin is around the corner and you are heavily focusing on the Europe market. What initiatives have you taken in this regard?
Kerala Tourism has already geared up for a threemonth long international campaign to lure foreign tourists. The tourism department has listed out as many as 12 trade fairs and 24 roadshows under this triumphant promotional campaign for the FY 2017-18 with an enhanced budget allocation of ` 11.5 crore. We are looking forward to participate in ITB Berlin (March 7-11) followed by a road show in France at Marseille (March 13).
The tourism department has listed out as many as 12 trade fairs and 24 road shows under this triumphant promotional campaign for the FY 2017-18 with an enhanced budget allocation of ` 11.5 crore. We 7-11, 2018) followed by a road show in Kadakampally Surendran Minister for Co-Operation Tourism and Devaswom, Government of Kerala
QHow has been the response to Ayurbodha programme launched recently?
Ayurbodha is a unique tourism product with the aim of blending tourism and the knowledge of Ayurveda. The focus was on basic home remedies and diet regimes, Ayurvedic practices for rejuvenation of the body and soul, secrets of pressure points, basics of Panchakarma treatment and the use of medicinal plants. Kerala is also popular for this initiative in enriching every visitor's experience.