Essaying the government’s imaginative efforts towards making Kerala a leading global destination, Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas released his milestone book at the 2023 Sharjah International Book Fair.
Titled Kerala Tourism: Charithravum Varthamanavum, the Malayalam work lucidly narrates the evolution of tourism in ‘God’s Own Country’ and the recent measures aimed at reinvigorating it as a core sector amid the global pandemic. Sharjah ruling family member Shaikh Abdulaziz bin Jamal Alqasimi, as chief guest, formally launched the Minister’s book by handing over the first copy to Kerala Muslim Youth League president Sayyid Munavvar Ali Shihab Thangal on Saturday evening. Among the other dignitaries at the ceremony were Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice Chairman Waleed Bukathir, Mathrubhumi Managing Director M.V. Shreyams Kumar and Deputy Editor P.P. Sasindran, V T Salim, Member, Loka Kerala Sabha.
The book encapsulates the minister’s administrative experience in the past two-and-a-half years. “When we assumed power in May 2021, our key focus was to reign in Covid-19. We have emerged from that crisis,” he noted at the launch of Charithravum Varthamanavum (Kerala Tourism: History and Present Times) at the penultimate day of the November 1-12 festival in the UAE city. Substantiating, Shri Riyas pointed out that New York Times listed Kerala among the world’s 52 must-visit places in 2023.
The 168-page work speaks about the various ways in which Kerala built up on its tourism potential. An upcoming Tourism Investors Meet on November 16 in the state capital aims to further take forward the government’s plans to rev up the state’s travel and hospitality sector, the Minister said. “The conclave can give us further energy to work in unison.”
Charithravum Varthamanavum (Rs 374), which has been brought out by Mathrubhumi Books with megastar Mohanlal’s foreword, takes an overview of the past and present of Kerala’s tourism. It highlights the state’s emphasis on Responsible Tourism that ensures eco-friendly development while giving opportunities to local communities.
The book also portrays Kerala’s Tourism Marketing model and innovative endeavours such as Destination Challenge that ropes in the services of local civic bodies from the village level up to urban. Its chapters throw light on the state’s fully women-friendly destinations, new packages in RT and adventure tourism, the state’s innovative Design Policy and, of late, special care for the promotion of travel in upstate Malabar.
Shihab Thangal described Chaithravum Varthamanavum as research-oriented, while also compiling visions from experts. Shaikh Abdulaziz and Waleed Bukathir, too, spoke.
Celebrity actor Mohanlal, in his foreword, writes that Chaithravum Varthamanavum “contains compelling observations on how to develop the endless tourism potential without harming the state”. He notes: “This book says that the author, who is in a responsible position, knows how to make a successful tourism plan by understanding the history of the state, its geography and climate. He and his team have successfully implemented it.”