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ISSUE: 354


New York Times lists Kerala among 52 Places to go in 2023

Kerala’s stunning resurgence as a top global travel destination in the post-pandemic phase got a massive endorsement with the The New York Times listing the state among 52 must-visit places in 2023. Kerala is the only destination from India, and is listed at the 13th spot in the newspaper’s annual list of places to visit.

What clinched this global recognition for the state are its festivals, experiential tourism products and its trendsetting Responsible Tourism (RT) initiative that brought benefits to communities and unfolded the rustic charm of the state before the tourists.

The prestigious newspaper wrote that people travel to immerse themselves in other cultures but some forms of community tourism put residents on display without offering benefits. In Kerala, however, which is celebrated for its beaches, backwater lagoons, cuisine and rich cultural traditions like the Vaikathashtami festival, the state government has adopted an award-winning approach of Responsible Tourism that allows visitors to experience village life while supporting the communities that host them, observed Paige McClanahan, the newspaper journalist who visited Kerala.

In an all-embracing snapshot, The New York Times also mentioned Kerala as a place where one can learn to climb a palm tree, visit a temple during an annual festival, and get a sustainable taste of village life.

In particular, it mentioned Kumarakom as one of several “responsible tourism destinations” in the state, where “visitors can paddle through jungly canals, weave rope from coconut fibre and even learn to climb a palm tree. In Maravanthuruthu, visitors can follow a storytelling trail and enjoy village street art before taking in an evening performance of a traditional temple dance.”

The Tourism Minister Mr P. A. Mohamed Riyas said the achievement is effectively a global accolade for the state’s community-based activities in the travel and hospitality sector. “The government considers sustainable tourism development meaningful only if it leads to the development of local communities.”

Mr K. S. Srinivas, Principal Secretary, Kerala Tourism, said Kerala’s thrust on experiential tourism clinched this coveted recognition for the state.

Noting that Kerala Tourism targets inclusive tourism development, Kerala Tourism Director Mr S. Prem Krishnan said featuring on the list of The New York Times is a global recognition for this approach.

Besides Kerala, the other places that were listed included London, Morioka (Japan), Monumental Valley Navajo Tribal Park (USA), Kilmartin Glen (Scotland), Auckland (New Zealand), Palm Springs (California), Kangaroo Island (Australia), Vjosa River (Albania), Accra (Ghana), Tromso (Norway), Lencois Maranhenses National Park (Brazil), Bhutan, Greenville (South Carolina), and Tucson (Arizona).

For Kerala Tourism, the year gone by witnessed remarkable achievements and inspiring global and national honours. The TIME magazine figured Kerala as one of the ‘50 Extraordinary Destinations to explore in 2022’. Conde Nast Traveller featured Kerala’s Aymanam village among the 30 best places to visit, while Travel & Leisure magazine chose the state for the Global Vision Award.

Last year, the STREET project, a part of the state’s Responsible Tourism initiative, bagged the global award at World Travel Market (WTM), London.

District Tourism Promotion Councils KTDC KTIL Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society BRDC Sargaalaya SIHMK Responsible Tourism Mission KITTS Adventure Tourism Muziris Heritage saathi nidhi Sahapedia
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