Eight more RT model villages to be developed in Kerala

Followed by the successful implementation of Responsible Tourism in some of the destinations in the state, the RT Mission is all set to develop eight more RT model villages across Kerala. Also, the People’s Participation for Participatory Planning and Empowerment through Responsible Tourism (PEPPER), an innovative integrated tourism project of the RT Mission that ensures whole-hearted participation of the people in the particular locality, will be extended to 10 more centres.

At present RT is implemented in Kovalam, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Vythiri, Ambalavayal, Bakel and Kumbalangi. The RT Mission is planning to implement the same in Poovar, Dharmadom, Fort Kochi, Varkala, Muhamma and Alappuzha this fiscal. These six destinations to be developed in Phase I are among the 11 new RT destinations announced by the government.

The ‘Model RT villages’ to be created this fiscal will be in Malabar – Valiyaparamba, Kolthuruthy, Pamburuthy, Malapattom, Thekkumpattu, Ezhom, Cheruthuruthy, Peruvembu and Vellinezhi. At present, Model RT villages have been rolled out in Thiruvarppu and Aimanam grama panchayats. Short-term cooking programme at homestays, promotion of local art and games, tourism resource mapping, carrying capacity study in the backwaters and implementation of green protocol will be taken up. Promotion of local community-owned accommodations, experiential tour packages, plastic-free declarations and waste management initiatives will also be initiated in these model villages under the RT Mission.

The PEPPER project has already been executed in Vaikom municipality and nine adjacent grama panchayats on a pilot basis in 2017-18 fiscal. The government has also decided to expand the project to 50 destinations in a phased manner. Velloor and Thalayolaprambu in Vaikom PEPPER project area, Elappara, Vandiperiyaar and Kanthalloor in Idukki and Kayyoor-Cheemeni in Kasaragod will be developed in the current fiscal. One local self-government each in Alappuzha, Ernakulam and two each from Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram districts will be selected later, says The Hindu.