Law to prevent illegal structures under consideration at tourism hotspots: Minister

Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the state government is planning to introduce a law to prevent encroachments and illegal constructions in ecologically sensitive tourist destinations. “The government is focused on promoting tourism without exploiting nature,” he said addressing the media after visiting the Kerala Travel Mart in Kochi.

“When Kodiyeri Balakrishnan was the Tourism Minister, the state government introduced a Bill preventing unscientific construction and encroachment in ecologically sensitive tourist places. However, the Bill could not become law. But Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the government have accorded due importance to the environment while promoting tourism,” he said.

The minister also said that the government is likely to introduce subsidies for tourism development. “Northern districts of Kannur, Palakkad, Calicut and Kasaragode are likely to get the subsidies for tourism development,” said Tourism Director P Balakiran.

Kadakampally also said that Responsible Tourism has changed the character of tourism in God’s Own Country. “From staying in a hotel, experiencing just the facilities and luxury of the hotel, it was Responsible Tourism that took the initiative to propagate experience tourism to the visitors,” he said.

Responsible Tourism has around 5 lakh worth order from hospitality groups for braided coconut fronds, the minister said. “Almost all the hospitality establishments sport a structure with braided coconut fronds, embracing ecologically-friendly and traditional custom of the state,” he said.