Responsible Tourism

Kerala has emerged as one of the prime tourism destinations on the national and international map and is considered as the tourism trendsetter in the country. The availability of plenty of natural resources, skilled manpower, supportive entrepreneurial community, strong local-self-governments, civil society organizations, multitude of micro enterprises, streams of professionals and academicians, responsible media and responsive tourism industry, provide the state an ideal setting to implement and practice sustainable tourism models in the state. As the best way to maximize the positive impacts of tourism and minimize the negative ones, Responsible Tourism (RT) is gaining widespread acceptance across the world today. Pioneering the concept of RT in India is Kerala in 2007, which launched the initiative in four destinations – Kovalam, Kumarakom, Thekkady and Vythiri on a pilot basis. In 2012, the initiative was extended to three more destinations – Kumbalanghi, Bekal and Ambalavayal

Kumarakom, in the Kerala, has the pride of being the first place on the country to have successfully implemented RT. Kerala Tourism was, in 2013, conferred the top United Nations Award - United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism- for its global leadership in creating innovative initiatives for sustainable tourism at Kumarakom. This was the first time India has ever won the recognition. Kumarakom was also honoured by Ministry of Tourism; Govt of India for the best Responsible Tourism initiative in Kerala and it also bagged the national award for rural tourism.

Following the success of Kumarakom and other destinations, RT is today being implemented in other tourist destinations across the State. This holistic form of tourism is helping travellers, the local population and the trade derives the greatest possible benefits from tourism, without causing any ecological or social damage.

With the Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS) as its nodal agency, RT is providing better living conditions for the local community while providing better opportunities for tourists to visit.