Kanthalloor clinches Centre’s ‘Gold’ for Best Rural Tourism Project
Kanthalloor was selected for the honour after an eight-month-long extensive evaluation of rural village projects across the country.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kanthalloor village in Idukki district, where a sustainable and inclusive tourism project of the State Responsible Tourism Mission was successfully implemented, has been bestowed with the ‘Gold’ award by the Government of India in the category of Best Rural Tourism Projects. The project named STREET, which stands for “Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic, Tourism” was implemented in selected places across the state, including Kanthalloor, based on UNWTO’s theme ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’.
Kerala Tourism director P B Nooh received the award from the Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, India, V Vidyavathi at a ceremony held on Wednesday at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on the occasion of World Tourism Day (September 27). Kerala Responsible Tourism Mission (RTM) coordinator and state Rural Tourism nodal officer K RupeshKumar and Kanthalloor village panchayat president P T Mohandas were also present.
Kanthalloor was selected for the honour after an eight-month-long extensive evaluation of rural village projects across the country. In all, 767 projects from around the country vied for honours, and, five of them won ‘Gold’, 10 were selected for ‘Silver’ and 20 for ‘Bronze.’ “This honour is a huge endorsement for Kerala’s sustainable and responsible tourism initiatives led by the Responsible Tourism Mission,” Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas said.
Located close to Munnar, Kanthalloor was first brought in the ambit of the participatory tourism initiative ‘PEPPER’ before moving onto STREET project, with the active participation of the local community and the village panchayat.
Kanthalloor first in women-friendly tourism
Kathalloor has the distinction of being the country’s first panchayat to implement women-friendly tourism, for which several programmes were held in collaboration with UN Women. As part of this the ‘destination security’ scheme was implemented and special women tour packages drawn up. The panchayat also stands as the first rural local body to implement a tourism project utilising the plan fund.
Based on the protocol for village and farm tourism, various tourism packages were drawn up and implemented in Kanthalloor. Arrangements were made for panchayat-level registration of vehicles used for tourism activities. Uniform rates were decided for tour packages and review meetings were held jointly by RT Mission and UN Women. As part of this, ‘safe destination’ scheme was implemented. ‘Green badges’ were provided to vehicles used for tourism activities.