Kerala Tourism highlights Responsible Tourism Mission at WTM London 2017

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Sharing the sustainable practices and ethical methods to drive the responsible tourism agenda, Kerala Tourism participated in a three-day-long World Travel Market London 2017 to highlight the success of the state’s “Responsible Tourism Mission” at a global platform and highlighted the sustainable practices to put into action the responsible tourism agenda.

“Owing to the tremendous growth of Indian tourism industry, there is an immediate need to invest and focus on sustainable tourism practices across the world to conserve India’s vibrant heritage. Kerala Tourism has always been on a forefront to promote tourism in a responsible manner,” said Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Co-operation, Tourism and Devaswoms, Government of Kerala.

The Tourism Minister launched an initiative of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) – ‘AyurBodha’, highlighting the significance of Ayurvedic practices to attract tourists from across the globe. He inaugurated the Kerala Pavilion followed by the launch of KTM brochure 2018. The pavilion was themed around Backwaters and Houseboats. The backwaters were brought to life through a two-minute film that was shot using a 360-degree technology via six cameras simultaneously.

The Kerala Tourism pavilion’s location in WTM added to its importance as the UK is the primary source market for Kerala Tourism. Kerala received 1,55,548 tourists from the UK last year, accounting for 17% of the total foreign tourist arrivals to the state. Kerala Tourism has been conducting roadshows in Britain and has been participating in the World trade Mart (WTM) for the last two decades.

Recently, Kerala Tourism initiated a first of its kind initiative in India- PEPPER (People’s Participation for Planning and Empowerment through Responsible Tourism), aimed at promoting unexplored and pristine destinations through people’s participation in the process of tourism planning.

Highlighting the significance of Responsible Tourism at the event, Dr. Venu, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala stated, “It gives us immense pleasure to be a part of the World Travel Market London 2017 that provides a global platform to draw special attention of the world leaders towards the significance of our ambitious Responsible Tourism mission. Under Responsible Tourism mission, Kerala Tourism has developed a community tourism network to include the local community not just as a participant, or even a beneficiary, but as a leader.”

In the event, Kumarakom Responsible Tourism Initiative spearheaded by Kerala Tourism was awarded the Highly Commended Responsible Tourism Award at WTM London.

Speaking on the occasion, P Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism and Managing Director, Kannur International Airport stated, “Responsible Tourism Mission is aimed at promoting green principles in construction and waste management while protecting regional art and culture. In addition to that, the initiative has been providing employment to women and marginalised community.”

Kerala Tourism was accompanied by twelve private exhibitor-partners at the event; Alhind Tours And Travels Pvt Ltd, Grand Hyatt Bolgatty, Jayasree Travels and Tours Company, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, Kumarakom Lake Resort, Pioneer Personalized Holidays, Punarnava Ayurveda Hospital Pvt Ltd, Raviz Hotels and Resorts, Spiceland Holidays, Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Hotel and Xandari Resorts.