More focus to be given for Responsible Tourism: Kerala CM

Major focus to be given for responsible tourism and ecologically friendly tourism projects in Kerala, opined Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala. The minister was addressing a gathering at the Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolghatty after inaugurating the 10th edition of Kerala Travel Mart today.

“The government is aiming to position Kerala in the world tourism map through promoting Responsible tourism. When a region changes as a part of responsible tourism, every section of the people will also benefit from it. The government is planning a project to promote the traditional art forms and cultural specialties of the Malabar region. The project is expected to be implemented soon, said the chief minister.

“Natural beauty and climate and biodiversity of the state will be utilized for tourism development. The state will also make sure that new tourism products will be presented before the tourists. Medical Tourism/Health tourism has huge scope. Private investment will also be utilized along with government investment to make the tourism projects attractive. All the construction works and projects will be carried out only after considering the ecological features,” said Pinarayi.

“Even after the devastating floods, Kerala is still alluring and is ready to welcome tourists with more strength. This is the message we would like to give to the global audience through the mart. This edition of Kerala Travel Mart holds great importance as it shows the strength and vigour of the state, which was hit by the worst floods in a century,” said the minister.

Around 1500 buyers, of which 545 are foreign buyers, are also participating in the Kerala Travel Mart. “This is the first time these many buyers are participating in an event in Kerala. It shows the strength of Kerala and the trust you have put on the state’s tourism potential,” said the chief minister.

The event will see special discussions on rebuilding the state post the deluge. All the points and suggestions discussed in the mart will be assessed and incorporated in the future development of the destinations. The state government is also ensuring that the tourists will be provided all the best facilities at Munnar during the neelakurinji season, assured Pinarayi Vijayan.

“The post-flood ‘resurrection’ of Kerala has had no parallels anywhere in the world. Kerala is again ready to receive tourists. The state should concentrate on Chinese market as we are getting far less number of tourists from that country,” said Union Minister for State for Tourism, K J Alphons in his address.

“KTM symbolises Kerala’s resilience and the spirit of harmony and togetherness of the state’s people. I thank the tourism trade across the world for standing with us and for being a beacon of hope in our darkest hour,” said state Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran. Rani George, Tourism Secretary, P Balakiran, Tourism Director, M A Yousuffali, Chairman of Lulu Group, Kochi Metro M, Muhammad Haneesh, and KTDC MD, R Rahul were also present at the inaugural function.

Organised by KTM Society, in partnership with Kerala Tourism, the event has Malabar Tourism as its focal theme this edition. The business-to-business meetings will be conducted at Samudrika and Sagara Convention Centre at Willington Island in Kochi from September 28 to 30.

Over 30,000 meetings among 1,600 buyers from around the world and 325 sellers of Kerala’s tourism products are expected at the mart. The last day of  KTM is open for public.