PEPPER was first implemented in Vaikom on an experimental basis. The objective of PEPPER is to develop the tourism industry by ensuring public participation and to provide the local community a means to live through tourism initiatives.
The Special Tourism Grama Sabha conducted in T. V. Puram proved to be the best instance of public participation. Ms. C. K. Asha, MLA, Vaikom, inaugurated the Grama Sabha. In the function which was chaired by Mr. T. T. Sebastian, President, Grama Panchayath, Mr. K. Rupesh Kumar, Co-ordinator, Responsible Tourism Mission presented the objectives of PEPPER. Felicitation speeches were made by People’s representatives. After the inaugural ceremony, the Grama Sabha divided itself into seven subject groups and conducted discussions. The thrust areas of the discussions were mainly related to Tourism Resource Mapping, development of basic facilities, combined tourism projects in agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries, traditional occupations and tourism, arts, festivals, tour packages, human resource development, Kudumbashree and tourism projects.
The Grama Sabha concluded at 4PM after taking decisions to complete Tourism Resource Mapping within a period of two months and to invite applications for training within one month.
The State Government and the Responsible Tourism Mission believe that the PEPPER project will make the tourism industry more public-oriented and thereby help in the overall development of tourism in Kerala.