KOCHI: In an effort to increase the average stay of tourists in the state to 21 days from the present 18.6 days, plans are afoot to promote Village Tourism and Adventure Tourism in a big way. The state government wants to touch this target of three weeks of stay by a tourist in Kerala in four years.
The tourism department in the state has already taken initiatives to promote the village life in God’s Own Country as part of its responsible tourism initiative.
The average stay of a tourist in Kerala was 17.1 days in 2012. As the tourism industry targets a revenue of Rs 25,000 crore in 2014, these initiatives may help to touch the goal. The Village Tourism is already in place at Wayanad, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Kovalam and Pathanamthitta.
The latest addition to the list are Maravanthuruthu, Chembu panchayats and Vaikom Municipality in Ernakulam district.
To promote adventure tourism in a big way, a scheme named Netventure has been formed by the government. Under this project soft natural adventures will be promoted.
“Tourists, especially from overseas, come to Kerala for an experience of a lifetime. With the initiative of Village Tourism we want to provide a slice of rural Kerala life. The idea is to engage people in an area with tourism. Thus it will be an area to get some revenue to the rural people. After house boats and home stays the idea of Village Tourism will be a new beginning to the next era of tourism in Kerala. Village Tourism along with Ayurveda will help to increase the number of average stay of a tourist to 21 days and will contribute more revenue to the state,” said Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa.
The revenue from tourism sector for the state was Rs 22,927 crore in 2013.
“Usually, the ayurveda package offers a minimum of seven days and a maximum of 21 days to the tourists. The general trend is that a foreign tourist who opts for a minimum seven days Ayurveda package will extend his tour to another eight to 10 days for a pan-Kerala visit and sightseeing. When With Vilage Tourism the number of days stayed by the tourists can further extended. Apart from this unexplored areas in Kerala, particularly North Kerala, should be promoted,” said Riyaz Ahammed, Managing Director, Abad Hotel and Resorts.