KOCHI: After Lonely Planet included Kochi among the top 10 cities to visit in 2020, another travel magazine, Nat Geo Traveller India of National Geographic, has ranked Fort Kochi ninth among 25 top tourist destinations to explore in 2020.
Lakshmi Sankharan, editor of Nat Geo Traveller India, described Fort Kochi as the oldest European settlement in India, which is gaining notice as a buzzing new arts hub. The multi-layered colonial past is most present in historic Fort Kochi, the waterfront district where several Dutch- and British-era properties house galleries and cafés.
“The four-month-long Kochi-Muziris Biennale is the largest event of its kind in South Asia. Launched in 2012, the biennale showcases contemporary international, Indian and cross-cultural visual art and experiences, such as Singaporean-Indian artist and writer Shubibi Rao’s 2018 ‘The Pelagic Tracts’, a multi-faceted deep dive into a world where books are the most prized commodity,” stated the National Geographic website.
According to Nat Geo Traveller, the best time to visit Fort Kochi is from December to April. Other destinations in the list include Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Guizhou Province in China; and Tohoku in Japan.
The Tourism Department has formulated numerous projects for Fort Kochi tourism infrastructure development.
Cleanliness is one of the damning factors in the area. Fort Kochi councillor Shiny Mathew said to provide the best experience for tourists, authorities should focus more on the cleanliness of the area. “Though several projects to develop tourism infrastructure in Fort Kochi have been included in the Kochi Smart City Mission programme, the work is yet to start,” Shiny said.