KOCHI: Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa said that giving a major fillip to the tourism industry in the state, the Hop On - Hop Off Boat service and water taxi service in Kochi will start in two weeks and the Seaplane service will begin in October.
He was speaking at the inaugural function of Kerala Travel Mart 2014 here on Wednesday.
“In order to increase the average stay of foreign tourists in the state from the current 18.6 days to 21 days in four years, adventure tourism will be promoted in a big way in the name of Natventure. The state also wants to highlight Bekal, Cheruthuruthy/Nila, Athirappilly, Cherai and Kollam as unexplored new destinations in Kerala,” Suman Billa added. Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar said that taking the ambitious Spice Route project by the state government a step ahead, discussions were started with the ambassadors of 31 countries in the Europe, Asia and Far East.
The Spice Route project envisages the revival of the ancient spice route that connects 31 countries in various geographical locations to Kerala.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the cooperation was inked by the State and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for the project in August this year.
The Muziris Heritage project is the backbone of this project.
“The Spice Route project is a new milestone for the growth of tourism in Kerala. The success of the project is based upon the support from all the 31 countries. That is why we have sought the cooperation of UNESCO. We have already started talks with these countries,” the Minister said.