KERALA TOURISM NEWSLETTER
Caravan Parks to be Most Secure and Eco-friendly: Tourism Minister
Tourism Minister Mr. P. A. Mohamed Riyas has said Caravan Parks coming up across the state as part of “Keravan Kerala” project will be located in natural settings, giving top priority to tourists’ safety and security as well as hygiene. “What makes Kerala’s Caravan Tourism policy different from others is that it is more responsible and more committed to local communities,” Mr. Riyas said.
The Caravan Tourism policy, announced in September, also opens up the possibility of turning 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.
The minister said tourist caravans will be comfortable, fully regulation-compliant and safe. “There will not be any garish constructions, leaving the place as natural as possible. Each Caravan Park will have a sewage treatment plant. The basic intent of the project is to club the luxury of caravan with the natural look of the park,” he said.
The experiential potential of caravan tourism is enormous as visitors can savour village life experience in the place where they halt. Whether it is a village with swathes of paddy fields, a fishermen’s hamlet or a hub of traditional industry or craft, the tourists can have a close look at the daily chores of the community.
The experiential feature, directly linked to Kerala’s successful Responsible Tourism (RT) initiative, has the potential to generate employment and commercial opportunities for local communities, local self-government institutions, small and micro enterprises, artists and women’s groups like Kudumbashree.
As “Keravan Kerala” is set to emerge as a major segment of Kerala Tourism, the policy provides attractive incentives, including investment subsidies for the purchase of caravan vehicles.
Enthusiastic Tour Operators
Leading tour operators said they have been getting enthusiastic and positive feedbacks from their counterparts from within the country and elsewhere with regard to caravan tourism in Kerala.
Mr. Abraham George, Managing Director of Intersight Tours and Travels, said his company would design hybrid packages by including caravan tourism, which would attract visitors to lesser known destinations. “We believe there will be a good demand for caravans as the recent trend shows that most of the tourists are coming as couples or families and they want to go to less crowded places. It will be a big hit with honeymooners because of the privacy and security offered by caravans,” he said.
Mr. Riyaz U. C., Managing Director, Spiceland Holidays, said caravan tourism will be packaged as a standalone product as well as a hybrid package. “In the hybrid model, caravan tourism will be included as a two-day activity. Eventually, we will explore the possibilities of introducing a hop-on and hop-off model to reduce cost. The introduction of caravan tourism at this juncture will give a much-needed fillip to tourism in the state which is yet to fully recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic.”
Safe and Secure Caravan Parks
Caravan parks will be operational 24x7 during the tourist season, or on demand, and connected with fair-weather roads from the main road. They will be provided all trading licenses from competent authorities for fire and pollution compliance, electricity, water and sewage connections and public liability insurance.
A caravan park will be a completely safe and secure zone offering hassle-free and stress-free environment to tourists, and will be protected with necessary features like strong fencing, adequate security and safety arrangements, patrolling and surveillance cameras. The policy envisages comfort rooms for drivers in every caravan park, and stipulates that as soon as the caravan enters the park, the driver will hand over the vehicle key to the park management and retire to the comfort rooms arranged exclusively for them.
The parks in hilly and ecologically fragile areas will have to incorporate creative architecture in conformity with local heritage. Caravan Parks can also be set up in plantations, properties of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) and local self-government institutions.
To get more details about Caravan Tourism, check : https://www.keralatourism.org/caravan-tourism