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ISSUE: 362


Kanthalloor Village in Kerala Wins ‘Gold’ Award for the Best Rural Tourism Project

Kanthalloor, a farm village in Kerala’s Idukki district, has bagged the 'Gold' award for its sustainable and inclusive STREET project, initiated by the state’s Responsible Tourism Mission. The award bestowed by the Government of India was described as the Best Rural Tourism Project. Kanthalloor was chosen for the award following an eight-month intensive review of rural village projects across the country. 

“This honour is a huge endorsement of Kerala’s sustainable Responsible Tourism (RT) initiative. It is all the more encouraging that Kerala receives this national honour on World Tourism Day, which was themed ‘Tourism and Green Investments’ by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) this year,” said the Kerala Tourism Minister Shri P. A. Mohamed Riyas. 

On the occasion of World Tourism Day, the Kerala Tourism Director Shri P. B. Nooh received the award from Smt. V. Vidyavathi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, India, at a ceremony held on September 27 at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi. 

After receiving the award, Shri P. B. Nooh recalled that this is the most recent recognition in a string of international and national honours given to Kerala's RT initiative, which has established a model for tourism development that is respected throughout the world for protecting the environment, valuing culture, and enhancing local communities. 

Kanthalloor has been recognised for being the country’s first panchayat to implement women-friendly tourism. As part of this, the ‘destination security’ scheme was implemented, and special women's tour packages were introduced. The village developed and implemented several tourism packages based on the protocol for farm and village tourism. ‘Green Badges’ were provided to vehicles used for tourism activities. 

According to the Tourism Secretary Shri K. Biju, Kerala is a world leader in the development of inclusive and sustainable tourism, and Kanthalloor is an ideal illustration of how effectively tourism should be promoted with these objectives in mind. 

Shri K. Rupesh Kumar, the Kerala Responsible Tourism Mission (RTM) Coordinator and State Rural Tourism Nodal Officer, and Shri P. T. Mohandas, Kanthalloor Village Panchayat President, were also present to receive the award. 

Recalling the step-by-step procedure followed in Kanthalloor, Shri Rupesh said that the first step was to hold special tourism village meetings in each of the panchayat's wards to talk about the upcoming projects. 

Seeking to enhance the rural experience for the benefit of the tourists, various areas of the village were demarcated as green street, vegetable street and fruit street. All activities were co-ordinated by an oversight panel with the panchayat President as Chairman and the RT Mission Co-ordinator as Convener.

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