THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The white, sandy beach at Adimalathura, located close to Kovalam, is set to be added to the list of travel hotspots in Kerala. The tourism department has already initiated measures to conserve the pristine beach, which offers a fascinating view of the Arabian Sea.
The plan, sources say, is to transform Adimalathura and its fishing hamlet into an international tourism destination. The project — to be implemented jointly by the tourism department, Responsible Tourism Mission and local bodies — is expected to cost about `50 crore.
The main objective is to provide the benefits of sustainable tourism to the fishermen community and boost the regional economy, says a senior tourism department official.“Traditional fishing villages have huge potential and tourists would love to experience the authentic village life of fishermen,” the official adds. “The project would be implemented on a warfooting and the destination would be launched officially ahead of the tourism season next year.”
The tourism department, in fact, has already initiated steps to form responsible tourism units at Adimalathura. As per plan, tourists would be offered a slew of experiences ranging from traditional fishing methods, seafood specialities, fish auction and sale of value-added fish products.
Officials of the Responsible Tourism Mission and the District Tourism Promotion Council have already carried out a study on the possibilities. “It’s a place where fresh seafood can be experienced; tourists can savour unique local seafood cuisines,” says the tourism department official. “We want to introduce food souvenirs in the village — seafood souvenirs with unique recipes of the fishermen community here.”
Homestays in the hamlet
Once the project is through, tourists would be offered a great combo — hip tourism at Kovalam and village life at Adimalathura. “Adimalathura would be the first fishing hamlet to be themed and entirely dedicated to tourism,” says the official. “The local body has been given the responsibility to identify community members for the project. The detailed project report (DPR) preparation is under way. Once approved, the project would be implemented using Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) funding.”
There are 150 to 200 fishermen houses in the village. Homestays would be here, so that tourists can stay and experience the culture and heritage of the region. “All these would be done without disrupting the traditional setting of the hamlet,” the official adds. Located close to Azhimala Temple -- which shot to international fame because of the 58ft-tall statue of Lord Shiva -- Adimalathura beach has already been seeing increasing footfall. “The temple is part of the international tourism circuit, and the beach lies next to it,” the official says.
Conservation is priority
As part of the project, the tourism department would focus on conserving the Adimalathura beach. “The boundaries of the beach would be marked, and no construction activities would be allowed in the area. Zones would be demarcated for trading and other activities,” says the official. “Rampant encroachments have ruined Kovalam, and we don’t want that to happen at Adimalathura.”
Safe, secure nightlife
If things go according to plan, the destination would have some after-dark activities, too. “Solar lighting would be provided to light up the destination. Nightlife is one thing missing at our tourist spots. We would be giving a safe and secure environment for the tourists visiting the village and the beach,” the official adds. “Cultural programmes by the fishermen community would be another highlight. A night walk along the beach and extended hours of tourism activities are also being planned.”
Kovalam to get facelift
Kerala Tourism is planning to rebrand Kovalam by scaling up the facilities and offering a wider range of experiences to tourists. More adventure sports and responsible tourism elements involving the local community would be added, say officials.