Tourism initiative set to spread wings
When the responsible tourism initiative by Kerala Tourism will be extended to three more tourism spots in the state -- Kumbalangi, Bekkal and Ambalavayal, Kudumbasree units too will increase cultivation of local produce and manufacture of handicrafts to make available locally-made products to these areas.
In the next phase, responsible tourism initiative will be implemented at Kumbalangi, Bekkal and Ambalavayal (Wayanad). Products made by Kudumbasree units, including vegetables and handicrafts, will be made available at these tourism spots. Already, responsible tourism is being followed in Kochi, Thekkady, Kumarakom and Wayanad.
Kudumbasree executive director K B Valsala Kumari said the cultivation of vegetables and other items as part of the responsible tourism concept will be increased by Kudumbasree units.
At present, around 200 members are actively engaged in the initiative and more people will become part of the project when more tourism spots are included. ‘Though it was started at a small pace, responsible tourism brings in `5 lakh a month to Kudumbasree members now. Of this `2 lakh alone come from Kovalam,” she said.
It is planned to increase the production in seven districts which will benefit the local community as well as the tourism industry. Almost all the hotels where responsible tourism is being implemented are provided with organic vegetables produced by the Kudumbasree units.
The handicrafts industry has also benefited with the introduction of the new initiative. There is a general trend of tourists buying these products to be presented as gifts.
B Vijayakumar, principal, Kerala Institute of Travel and Tourism Studies (KITTS), which is the nodal agency appointed by the government to implement the project, said training for Kudumbasree members in the areas where responsible tourism will be extended has been started. There are plans to introduce the initiative to more areas after identifying the new areas.