Kumarakom, the major Responsible Tourism centre in Kerala has played host to the state’s most unique women-friendly mission. With the aim of marking a space for women in the state’s tourism sector, a two-day orientation programme for women was held as part of the state government's pioneering 'Women-Friendly Tourism' project, developed in collaboration with UN Women. The event drew a total of 85 female trainers, who will then teach women involved in tourist initiatives and other services around the state. The 'Trainers of Trainers' session was conducted by the state's RT Mission, the nodal agency of the project.
While addressing the audience, the Kerala Tourism Minister Shri P. A. Mohamed Riyas said that these training sessions will accelerate the progress of ‘Women-Friendly Tourism’ and hopefully attract more women tourists to the state. He added that Kerala is the first state in the country to bring such a women-friendly tourism initiative, and this will also encourage women to play key roles as entrepreneurs and professionals in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
“Under the banner 'Women-Friendly Tourism,' the government will ensure safe and sanitary venues and tourism attractions for women”, said Shri K. Biju IAS, Kerala Tourism Secretary.
The programme also included seminars on the state's community-oriented Responsible Tourism (RT), gender-inclusive tourism, and gender-inclusive spaces. According to the Kerala Tourism Director Shri P. B. Nooh, the initiative will provide women visitors with a sense of security, encouraging tourism with an emphasis on women’s empowerment.
The project will incorporate the participation of women in a lot of activities and services such as catering, accommodation, transportation and community guides. It is estimated to generate at least 10,000 new businesses, over 30,000 new employment opportunities, and a network of 1.5 lakh women working in tourism and related industries. So far, 1850 women have attended the project-sponsored training sessions.
Shri K. Rupesh Kumar, RT Mission State Coordinator, conducted the sessions and provided an outline of the 'Women Friendly Tourism' initiative, which aims to expand the state's tourism sector in a way that promotes women's empowerment.
The programme which ended on August 1, turned out to be a venue for experience-sharing sessions, where entrepreneurs and experts discussed how to successfully carry out a complete spectrum of tourist activities, making the visitors' stay in the state a unique experience for them.
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