Kumarakom, Beypore find place in Centre’s Swadesh Darshan 2.0
Selected with 34 destinations | Govt’s agency to decide funds for developmental activities
KOCHI: Two more tourism destinations in Kerala have made it to the list of places selected for the Swadesh Darshan 2.0 scheme of the Union Ministry of Tourism.
This comes after the inclusion of Gavi-Vagamon-Thekkady stretch under the eco circuit, Sabarimala -Erumeli-Pampa-Sannidhanam, Sree Parthasarathy at Aranmula and Sivagiri Sree Narayana Guru Ashram- Aruvippuram- Kunnumpara Sree Subrahmania- Chembazhanthi Sree Narayana Gurukulam under the spiritual circuit and the Malanad Malabar Cruise Tourism Project under rural circuit, as part of the Swadesh Darshan scheme 1.0 announced earlier.
As per an office memorandum released by the Union Ministry of Tourism, Kumarakom in Kottayam and Beypore in Kozhikode have been selected along with 34 other destinations from 19 states and Union Territories for development under the Swadesh Darshan 2.0 Scheme. According to Robin V Koshy, secretary, District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) Kottayam, getting selected under the Swadesh Darshan scheme will give a big boost to the tourism prospects of the destinations.
“A lot of infrastructural developments will be carried out and once the projects are completed it will work towards providing all facilities needed to welcome tourists,” he added. According to him, the category under which Kumarakom has been selected for the project can be identified only after a detailed communication is received from the ministry.
Nikhil Das, DTPC secretary, Kozhikode, said, “It is the planning department of the tourism department that handles the matter.” According to an official with the Kerala tourism department, unlike the Swadesh Darshan scheme 1.0, in which importance was given to circuit tourism, the 2.0 version aims at developing specific destinations.
“We had submitted a State Perspective Plan analysing the tourism potential of various destinations. The Union Tourism Ministry only selects two places and this time it was Kumarakom and Beypore,” said the official. Both the destinations have a lot of importance as tourism destinations, he added.
“In the case of Beypore, the forts, beach and ancient trade route besides the vibrant cultural scenario make it stand out. It can be assumed that the ministry might be aiming to promote beach tourism in Beypore,” said the official. As for Kumarakom, it is already set as a well-known tourism destination, he added. “G20 ministerial meeting that was held at a resort in Kumarakom might or might not have played a part in its selection,” said the official.
As for the developmental activities, the funds for the same will be decided by an agency selected by the Central government, he said. “Though everything is done in consultation with the state government, the implementing agencies are the ones contracted by the Union Government. For now, we have sent in our recommendations. However, the amount of funds that need to be allocated will be arrived at only after the agency submits the final DPR,” said the official. He added that the ceiling for the funds allocated for the project is Rs 100 crore.
What is Swadesh Darshan 2.0?
Swadesh Darshan 2.0 is not an incremental change but a generational shift to evolve Swadesh Darshan Scheme as a holistic mission to develop sustainable and responsible tourism destinations covering tourism and allied infrastructure, tourism services, human capital development, destination management and promotion backed by policy and institutional reforms.
Strategic objectives of the scheme
- To enhance contribution of tourism to local economies
- To create jobs including self-employment for local communities
- To enhance skills of local youth in tourism and hospitality
- To increase private sector investment in tourism and hospitality
- To preserve and enhance local culture and natural resources