KOCHI: A rural tourism circuit, proposed a year ago by the Ernakulam District Tourism Promotion Council linking more than seven village areas with varying tourist attributes in the region, is yet to pick up steam.
The circuit, which includes the churches in Malayattoor, the elephant training centre in Kodanad, the picturesque stretch of the Periyar river flowing through rocks and forests in Paniyeli Poru, a fast emerging backwater tourism hub in Kumbalam, Iringole Kavu, Bhoothatankettu and the Muziris heritage zone in Kodungallur, aims to offer an all-inclusive, multi-themed touristic experience in one single package.
“The village life experience is the key here. Through this, we aim to provide the tourists a piece of the rustic life in each part of the district. Each place we have identified has a unique touristic feature and together they will add more variety to the circuit,” said DTPC manager S Vijaykumar. However, the concept, despite its please-all features, is not really very popular among the tourists. The response towards the concept, proposed to be marketed on a broader level across the state at the recently concluded Kerala Travel Mart in Kochi, bears testimony to the potential and possibilities of rural tourism, especially at a time when tour operators are scouting for newer options to replace the conventional tourism packages, said KTM organiser Roopesh.
“When a concept like rural tourism is introduced in the market, it will take at least a year or two to become identifiable to the people or the tourists. A quantifiable inflow comes after that,” he said. At the Kerala Travel Mart, more than 200 travel agents came forward to explore the rural tourism potential of the state, Roopesh said.
“They have visited several remote sites, which were so far largely unexplored like Iringole Kavu and Paniyeli Poru in Perumbavoor. If each of them can send at least 100 people to Kerala, the concept will be success,” he said.
Very few people outside the state know about these locations. We will have to wait for the concept to be marketed till it starts returning benefits. Above all, the tourism department and the DTPC should come forward more vigorously to popularise the concept.