Focus on Western Ghats for promoting Ayurveda-based tourism

Published: 01st December 2012 10:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2012 10:10 AM   |  A+A-

Western Ghats in Kerala will be the global hub for Ayurveda with the State Tourism Department planning a campaign for it keeping in mind its rich trove of medicinal plants.

World-class Ayurveda facilities and services will be extended to tourists. The Western Ghats, one of the eight biodiversity hotspots in the world, will be the new key to the Kerala Tourism.

"’Kerala is naturally blessed to be the flag-bearer of Ayurveda because of the state’s rich ecosystem available on the Western Ghats,’’ said Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar.

‘’The state receives a large number of foreign and domestic tourists for Ayurveda treatment because it is a widely accepted fact that the authentic form of Ayurveda is that of Kerala,’’ the Minister added.

Under the Tourism Department’s quality assurance policy, the visitor looking for therapeutic and rejuvenative programmes will be guided by the ‘Green Leaf’ and ‘Olive Leaf’ grading for Ayurvedic institutions, which marks ‘Kerala Tourism approved Ayurvedic Centres’.

The Ayurvedic therapy programmes are expected to push the length of  holidays of tourists further. Under the Ayurveda-focused tourism campaign, the average length of the holiday of foreign tourists is expected to go up to 18 days per person from the present average stay of 16.2 days.

Another plan by the state to bring about a convergence of different systems of medicine is also on the cards. Under this plan, a holistic view of a person’s ailment will be taken in new multidisciplinary hospitals offering treatment under traditional as well as modern systems of medicine, said Suman Billa, Tourism Secretary.

‘’Ayurveda is a way of life for the people of Kerala. A lot of people in the State practice the ancient system of medicine. Therefore, propagating Ayurveda will lead to the community getting the benefits,’’ said Tourism Director Rani George. Kerala is home to over 900 species of Ayurvedic herbs.

The Western Ghats, which run through the entire state, from the hills of Wayanad in Northern Kerala to the southern Sahyadri peak, is an abundant reserve of medicinal herbs.

In fact, the ‘Agasthyakoodam’, a peak near here, is home to some of the rarest medicinal herbs. Even the sacred groves or ‘kavu’ spread across the state are treasure troves of Ayurvedic herbs.

The Tourism Department is also adding new destinations and new tourism products under its new season’s campaign. New tourism products include adventure tourism activities such as rock-climbing and paragliding.

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