KERALA TOURISM NEWSLETTER
Kerala’s STREET Tourism Project bags Global Award at WTM, London
Kerala Tourism’s STREET project has received a global award at the World Travel Market (WTM), London in recognition of the water-conservation initiatives successfully carried out as part of the community-oriented destination-development plans.
STREET, which stands for Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic Tourism, is a participatory tourism development approach that was developed along the lines of World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO's) motto ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’. The project is implemented as part of the globally-acclaimed Responsible Tourism initiative of the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala.
The state bagged the award for the commendable work it carried out for ‘Conserving Water and Improving Water Security and Supply for Neighbours.’
“My congratulations to the state’s RT Mission and its co-ordinator Rupeshkumar for getting this international honour,” said the Tourism Minister Mr P. A. Mohamad Riyas, who lead the Kerala delegation at WTM London. “This award is a recognition of Kerala’s fast and concerted post-COVID efforts for inclusive development of tourism destinations. This award encourages us to take forward Kerala Tourism’s RT initiatives with more conviction and resolve. The Kerala government will continue its focus on ensuring that local communities actively participate in tourism activities across the whole of Kerala, thereby ensuring more economic benefits to the community,” he added.
This project is especially important for a place like Kerala whose core strength is in its natural assets. Through STREET, the state aims at conserving these invaluable assets alongside tourism development, Mr Riyas further added. The project focuses on a theme-based street development approach at tourism destinations in order to reduce over-concentration of activities at core centres, widen the area of interest for visitors and maximize the local community benefit.
‘Water Street’ is one major stream of the STREET Project that has been successfully implemented at Maravanthuruthu Panchayat in Kottayam district near Kumarakom, the world-renowned RT destination.
Mr K. S. Srinivas IAS, Principal Secretary, Tourism; Mr P. B. Nooh, Director, Tourism and Mr K Rupeshkumar, State Coordinator, Kerala Responsible Tourism Mission were also part of the delegation to WTM London 2022, a meeting place for the global travel trade that attracts top travel destinations and tourism buyers and sellers from all over the world.
Kerala sets Global Model in Responsible Tourism, say Experts at WTM London
Kerala’s Responsible Tourism (RT) initiative has set a global model in sustainable destination development by creating better places for people to live in and visit, according to the speakers at a special seminar at World Travel Mart (WTM), London.
Participating in the seminar held to celebrate 15 years of Kerala’s experience in taking forward the community-based RT initiative and half a decade of the state RT Mission, experts drawn from various countries said it was the effective involvement of the community in all RT activities in the state that has resulted in the evolution of a successful model in the post-COVID world.
The Minister for Tourism, Mr P. A. Mohamed Riyas, who inaugurated the seminar on “Looking Back, Moving Ahead: 15 Years of Kerala’s Responsible Tourism Journey,” said RT will be a major vehicle for the economic empowerment of people across the state.
Noting that tourism has no future without people’s participation and generating jobs for the local community, Gambia’s Minister of Tourism and Culture, Mr Hamat Bah, said he plans to visit Kerala soon as his country is keen to learn from the south Indian state’s experience in sustainable tourism development through the RT initiative.
Dr Harold Goodwin, Advisor to WTM on RT London and Founder of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, said Kerala and Barcelona are the best RT models in the world.
Mr Glynn O’ Leary, Chief Executive, Transfrontier Parks Destinations and Founder of ICRT South Africa, said periodic review and upgradation of activities to come out with more novel products and experiences for visitors have been the highlights of Kerala’s RT Mission.
Mr Adama Bah, RT Consultant and Founder, ICRT International-West Africa, said Kerala’s initiatives like STREET and PEPPER (People’s Participation for Participatory Planning and Empowerment Through Responsible Tourism) that ensure community participation are really innovative and beautiful.
Mr K. S. Srinivas IAS, Principal Secretary, Tourism, moderated the session while Mr P. B. Nooh, Director, Tourism, welcomed the gathering.
Mr Rupeshkumar. K, State Coordinator, Kerala RT Mission, in his presentation on “Community Empowerment Through Responsible Tourism - Kerala Model,” explained how the 15 years of RT activities became a key component of local development.
To know more about the packages offered by Responsible Tourism, check https://www.keralatourism.org/responsible-tourism/experience