Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that the tourism development in the state has achieved monumental success owing to public-private-participation.
“This year, we have added another ‘P’ to the list- people’s participation,” he said.
He was delivering the inaugural address at the Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) 2012 through video conferencing here on Thursday. “Kerala has made a mark in responsible tourism, benefiting the local communities along with the stakeholders at the tourist destinations,” Chandy said.He said that the conservation of environment, especially in the tourism sector, will be given paramount importance.
The Chief Minister pointed out that in the recently concluded ‘Emerging Kerala’ meet, the tourism projects received maximum response from the investors.
“The seaplane project alone drew 58 expressions of interest which bears testimony to the fact that Kerala has become the most sought after tourist destination,” he said.
Chandy added that the contributions from the tourism sector stands next to the to the NRI remittances.
Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar, who presided over the function, said that an integrated tourism masterplan plays a prominent role. Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution K V Thomas drew attention to the poor infrastructure facilities in the state.
“It is owing to the lack of vision that the state has landed in a turmoil. It took four-and-a-half hours from Ernakulam to reach Oachira.
But surprisingly, it took me the same time to cover the distance between Bangalore and Hyderabad, which points to the state’s poor infrastructure,” he said. Thomas pointed out that despite being a Union Minister, he had to pay a toll on the National Highway there while the same was not the case in Kerala.
He also pointed out the pathetic state of the backwaters in Alappuzha. It was once renowned as the ‘virgin waters’ and drew lots of tourists.
Now the waters are highly polluted that one cannot enter the houseboat without covering one’s nose,” he observed.
Minister for Finance, Law and Housing K M Mani said that not only the industrialists assembled there, but also every citizen of the state were the tourism promoters.
“Waste management has always created trouble. Each individual has an important role to play in treating the waste judiciously and thus becoming the service providers for Kerala tourism,” he said.
Mayor Tony Chammany, MLAs Hibi Eden, Dominic Presentation, S Sarma, Kerala Mart Society president Riaz Ahmed and Suman Billa, secretary of Department of Tourism, also attended the function.