Shri P. A. Mohamed Riyas, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala, unveiling the logo of Caravan Tourism in Thiruvananthapuram along with Dr. Venu V. IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala, and Shri V. R. Krishna Teja, Director, Tourism
Three decades after the State made it big with houseboat tourism, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, has unveiled a new tourism product - Keravan Kerala. The concept of Caravan Tourism, with its nonintrusive mode of development, will enhance the potential and attractiveness of Kerala as a tourism destination.
Driving a paradigm shift and rising to the demands and preferences of tourists in the post-pandemic world, Government of Kerala announced a comprehensive, stakeholder-friendly Caravan Tourism Policy, promising the visitors safe, customized and closest-to-nature travel experience.
It envisages laying down the broad frame work for the development and encouragement of Caravan Tourism in Kerala, predominantly in the private sector through incentivising the procurement of caravans and for establishing the caravan parks, chalking out process and procedures for its operations, approval mechanisms etc.
Caravan Tourism policy is unique for many reasons. For one, it facilitates travellers to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime-experience involving the luxury of caravans, the idyllic setting of caravan parks and Village Life Experience (VLE) packages powered by Kerala Responsible Tourism Mission. It aims at exploring the possibility of turning accessible but unexplored places in the state into alluring destinations for the caravan travellers to park and stay. The initiative is designed to make tourism a sustainable activity that would bring benefits to local communities and also scale up opportunities for the industry.
Keravan Kerala offers big opportunities for investors to operate specially-built caravans for travel, leisure and stay. It also envisages a key role for a host of stake-holders, including local self government institutions, to set up eco-friendly Caravan Parks across the state to enable the visitors to spend a night or a day or station for an extended period to explore the destination of their choice.
Tourist Caravans are vehicles specially built for the purpose of travel, leisure and accommodation. The customized stylish vehicles will be equipped with all the trappings for a smooth ride and comfortable stay. They include Rigid as well as Towed/Trailer Caravans. In Rigid Caravans, the propelling mechanism and accommodation facilities will be built as a single unit. However in Trailers, the accommodation facilities shall be a separate unit which will be towed by a suitable vehicle for transportation. The ideal length for the Caravan shall be about 8.5 m.
A Tourist Caravan would include vehicles with the following minimum features:
Caravan Parks will be located in natural settings, giving top priority to tourists' safety and security and hygienic features. These parks will be a completely safe and secure zone offering hassle-free and stress-free environment to tourists, protected with necessary features like proper fencing, adequate security and safety arrangements, patrolling and surveillance cameras. Caravan Parks will be developed in the Private Sector, Public Sector or in the Joint Sector, as the case may be, the configuration of which varies from location to location, even though the fundamental attributes remain the same. The general focus of the development of Caravan Parks shall be for utilising the tourism potential of the new and untapped destinations.
Depending upon the facilities provided and the mode of operation, Caravan Parks of various kinds can be operated as given below.
The TFC shall be constructed providing appropriate facilities and infrastructure for the tourists /campers. The architecture of the new/ upcoming buildings in the hilly and ecologically fragile areas shall incorporate creative architecture for its sustainability, for its energy efficiency and as far as possible in conformity with the local art and the architecture using the local materials.
Responsible Tourism-friendly policy shall be adopted for sustainable growth which also benefits the local community and does not adversely affect the local environment. Use of eco-friendly practices and local products shall be encouraged.