Aymanam Model Responsible Tourism Village Project has won the World Travel Market’s ‘Indian Responsible Tourism One To Watch’ award, fetching global attention to the riverine location in Kottayam district.
Kerala Tourism Director Mr. Krishna Teja, IAS, received the honour at the WTM in London in the ‘High Speed Diversification’ category for tourist activities spanning two years ending on March 31, 2020. The award-winning project functions under Responsible Tourism Mission.
The project won the WTM recognition 14 months after the Chief Minister of Kerala Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan declared Aymanam as a model RT village. The award comes after the village fully implemented the RT Mission’s guidelines focusing on ecological conservation of tourist spots besides promotion of culture in a way that helps the local populace earn income.
The WTM award will further enable Kerala to revive its tourism after a lull following the outbreak of Covid-19, according to Tourism Minister Mr. P. A. Mohamed Riyas. “The WTM award can help us in retaining the international appeal Kerala has on the tourist map,” he said.
Dr. Venu V., Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism), noted that Responsible Tourism seeks to strengthen local development with people’s participation. The government is planning to implement the project in other villages of the state, thereby serving RT models to the rest of the country, he added.
As part of the RT project, Aymanam, along the Meenachil river, is carrying out packages featuring rural life, bird-watching, walks across paddy fields, cycling and sightseeing of the countryside. It has women as tour community leaders, earning worldwide recognition.
To have a glimpse of the Village Life Experience at Aymanam, check the following video: https://youtu.be/SqmHQcFhgLE
WTM 2021: Kerala Tourism Participates in First International Trade Fair since Outbreak of Pandemic
Sending out a strong message to the world that its tourism sector is on the path towards a swift and robust recovery from the prolonged pandemic-triggered lull, Kerala marked its presence at the three-day World Travel Market (WTM) 2021 in London from November 1 to 3.
The WTM was the first trade fair attended by Kerala Tourism after the Covid-19 outbreak. The internationally acclaimed ‘Human by Nature’ promotional campaign by Kerala Tourism was the theme of the state’s pavilion.
Lakesong Backwater Resort in Kumarakom received the Silver Award in the 'Decarbonising Travel and Tourism' segment for its initiatives in sustainability and environment protection. Invis Multimedia in Thiruvananthapuram also bagged the Silver Award in the same category for its afforestation activities at Puliyarakonam following the ‘Miyawaki Model’.
Tourism Minister Mr. Riyas said Kerala's participation in WTM 2021 attracted leading stakeholders from the travel trade of the United Kingdom, which is a key source market for the state.
Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism) Dr. Venu said, “We are making vigorous efforts to ramp up our tourism sector in double-quick time by launching an array of innovative projects that would readily strike a chord with the visitors from India and elsewhere.”
Tourism Director Mr. Teja, who led the delegation, said, “The event served as an opportunity to display Kerala as a top tourism destination of the world.”
The delegation comprised seven trade partners: Somatheeram Ayurveda Group, tour operators Dravidian Trails Holidays, Pioneer Personalised Holidays, Spiceland Holidays, and The Blue Yonder, and hoteliers Eastend Resorts & Hotels and CGH Earth Experience Hotels.
Prof. Harold Goodwin, (Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership and WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor) launched the ‘Human By Nature' theme book at the stand. The book explores the Kerala way of life with articles, pictures and travellers' impressions of the state.