THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Tourism has won the award for world’s best responsible tourism project at the World Travel Market London. Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran received the award in the presence of Tourism Principal Secretary Dr V Venu and director P Balakiran.
Kadakampally said the award was a recognition to the government’s efforts to ensure people’s participation in tourism activities.
Kerala’s responsible tourism project at the backwater destination of Kumarakom won the award. The project had earlier won several national and international honours, including the UNWTO Ulysses Prize, Pacific Asia Travel Association’s Grand and Gold awards and five national awards.
Kerala Tourism participated in the three-day WTM London 2017 highlighting success of the state’s ‘Responsible Tourism Mission.’ Kadakampally led the state delegation which showcased Kerala’s best-selling products, including its award-winning Responsible Tourism initiatives, pristine beaches, hill stations, backwaters, houseboats and ayurveda therapies. The minister also launched an initiative of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) titled ‘AyurBodha’ highlighting the significance of Ayurvedic practices to attract tourists.
The special session on ‘Kerala’s Responsible Tourism Mission’ was moderated by Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor. Dr V Venu, Jose Dominic, CEO, CGH Earth Hotels, and Xu Jing, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO were present.
Kadakampally launched KTM 2018 brochure at the event.
“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 the forefront to promote tourism in a responsible manner,” Kadakampally said.
“With the aim of providing training, conducting research and studies in specific fields, ‘Responsible Tourism Mission’ is aimed at promoting green principles in construction and waste management while protecting regional art and culture,” Balakiran said.
The Kerala pavilion at WTM 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. Visitors enjoyed the visuals with the help of VR headset. The pavilion was conceptualised and designed by Stark Communications, Kerala Tourism’s creative and brand management agency.