Responsible Tourism (RT) has seeped into the DNA of Kerala’s hospitality culture in its first decade of implementation, but the recent floods and landslides should enable the state to further reinvent the community-centric endeavour so as to set fresh standards, experts said on Saturday.
The state has to make its tourist spots friendly for the physically challenged in the spirit of RT, which must also be employed in allied animal welfare projects, they noted at a symposium of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) here.
RT will give job to 1 lakh people by the end of the ongoing 2017-18 financial year, while 10,000 RT units will be set up in the state by November, speakers at ‘Impact of Responsible Tourism in Kerala’ said.
Dr V Venu, principal secretary, culture, said the August deluge has given Kerala a chance to audit its tourist performance while also making it an occasion to try novel ways of boosting tourism. “We still haven’t made full use of our waterways,” he noted. “The recent landslides we had in Kerala were reported from hills with human habitation or close to quarries. What does this show?” he added.
All the same, Kerala tourism has begun voluntarily adopting RT what with even buyers showing the prospect of choosing their partners based on such a culture, he said. “Some of the main things that will be on their mind will be the RT practices that one’s business partner has demonstrated,” he added.
Hotelier Jose Dominic said RT is the best protection against man made calamities. “Till a couple of decades ago, tourism was considered a bourgeoisie activity. These days, it count it as an engine of economic development, more so community empowerment, thanks to RT,” he added.
RT state coordinator Rupeshkumar K said responsible tourism was initially met with a lot of resistance even from experts, but times have disproved their apprehensions. Today, RT benefits 7,943 people directly and another 23,000 indirectly, he revealed. In 2017,
The other speakers were Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran, KTM Past Presidents Abraham George (moderator) and Riaz Ahmed, and KTM President Baby Mathew.
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