Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas today said the District Tourism Promotion Councils (DTPCs) have a vital role to play in identifying the unexplored destinations across the state, which will expedite sustainable and inclusive development of tourism as envisioned by the State Government.
Addressing a two-day familiarization programme for the newly-appointed DTPC secretaries held by the Tourism Department here, the Minister said it was also important that DTPCs take utmost care in maintaining well the valuable tourism assets in their respective areas.
“It is primarily your responsibility to explore the unexplored destinations. The Government has a perspective about tourism that development of this key sector should also bring benefits to the people. The DTPCs should function in tune with the government policies,” Riyas said.
Emphasizing the need to protect and preserve invaluable tourism assets, the Minister said the DTPC could draw up projects and get the department’s support for them if that was required for proper maintenance of such properties.
However, there should be total transparency in the functioning of DTPCs without yielding to influences and pressures from external forces and the projects taken up by them should be completed in a time-bound manner.
Referring to the caravan tourism project, he said the DTPCs can also identify potential sites for setting up caravan parks.
Riyas said discussions have been held for inter-departmental collaboration for initiatives such as Wellness Tourism, Hydel Tourism, Cinema Tourism and ‘Foodie Wheels’.
Kerala Tourism is also associating with local self-government department (LSGD) for a slew of projects, funds for which will be shared by KT and local self-government institutions, Shri Riyas said.
Tourism Director, VR Krishna Teja, said putting in place a proper mechanism to disseminate information to tourists in each district is very important.
The DTPC offices must keep a foolproof system for providing information to tourists regarding the facilities and services available in the destinations in their respective areas. This requires that each DTPC has a thorough knowledge about each and every destination and its scope for development, besides identifying new potential destinations, he said.
Noting that the ultimate goal of DTPCs is development of tourism, Shri Teja said they should focus on destination management by considering factors like safety and hygiene to increase the footfall. Also, they should facilitate private players and stakeholders to implement novel projects that would redefine the destinations, he added.
B.S. Biju, Deputy Director, Department of Tourism; and Rajeev G.L, Deputy Director, Marketing, were also present.
Santhosh, Senior Finance Officer, Department of Tourism; S Joy, Senior Administrative Officer; Rajeev Kariyil, Planning Officer; and Rupeshkumar, State RT Mission Coordinator, led various sessions on the first day.
D Manoj Kumar, Manager, Thenmala Ecotourism Project; and Pradeep Murthy of Muddy Boots Vacations, will lead sessions on the final day.
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