|Responsible Tourism at Kumarakom starts on December, 2007; but it is officially inaugurated on March, 2008. We started with discussions and one day workshops with all stakeholders. Understanding the future and need of Responsible Tourism, Kumarakom Grama Panchayath came forward to run the project on their land. As the local self body hold the key position in the
works, the hurdles in the beginning periods were solved and Responsible Tourism is effectively boosted. Moving towards the second year Responsible Tourism at Kumarakom is being a big success.
a. Women empowerment
It’s highly appreciable that women understand the opportunity of money making through Responsible Tourism. About 900 women put direct involvement in production process and make revenue with in small period of time.
b. Employment opportunities
Responsible Tourism makes Kumarakom a paradise of revenue making jobs. Through small scale production and sale of traditional crafts and other ethnic products, native people make profits for their livelihood. Thus Responsible Tourism focuses on the economic participation of local people as direct owners in the business of tourism not just as beneficiaries of charity. Local self bodies also succeeded in concentrating profit oriented production and sales at Kumarakom.
c. Organized development
With the co-operation of State Tourism Department and Kumarakom Grama Panchayath, 15 hotels and many resorts joined the Responsible Tourism team. The united efforts open the door to market traditional products. Being a regular place of Responsible Tourism oriented profit making destination Kumarakom stands in the first place in the sector.
d. Responsible Tourism Destination Cell and its working
For supporting Responsible Tourism services and switching its performances to the next stages Responsible Tourism Destination Cell started in September, 2008. Co relating the technical, economic, social and environmental aspects more demand of tourism services was made available. Professionalism of Samrudhi group in matching the sales profile with the hotel and resort services, revenue stability is achieved. The group sells product to the public at reasonable rates and in open market.
e. Production units
To avoid a breakage in the flow of sales, Kudumbasree units are opened in the field. Vegetable cultivation by converting unused/barren land to agricultural areas marks great success and it improves the sales graph also. To organize the production from the grass root level 9 Karshaka Samithis were formed in Kumarakom and one in nearby place Manjadikkare. Running of small scale Kudumbasree units with altogether 250 members, home stead farming by 512 families and Karshaka Samithis with 450 members holds the production and sales market of Responsible Tourism at Kumarakom.
f. Demand and supply
The deal made with hotels and resort groups agreed to purchase vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and milk from the villagers. Specific arrangements have to be made for regular supply of quality items by the Kudumbasree units. Lease land farming (kudumbasree and Harithasree) were thus making profits. The pricing committee (DLRTC constituted pricing committee consisting of Grama Panchayath, Kudumbasree, DTPC, Purchase staff of Hotels) and the quality committee ( DLRTC constituted quality committee consisting of Grama Panchayath, Kudumbasree, DTPC, Hotels Chefs, Veterinary Surgeon, Agr. Officer, & Health Inspector) evaluates the products.
g. Overview of Economic success
Responsible Tourism Destination Cell and Kumarakom Grama Panchayath maintain the production-sales-profit margin in the last year. The hotels under the Samridhi Activity Group marks an increase in sales revenue of 12,12,211,70 Rupees and in open market 2,55,361,60 rupees. From other successful Responsible Tourism projects 2,28,000 is generated at Kumarakom. The 80% of the revenue is distributing in the projects itself.
h. Highly organized and professional works makes the Responsible Tourism projects at Kumarakom successful and economically stable. The Responsible Tourism projects encourage the development of new tourism experiences which facilitate socially and economically positive host - guest encounters. Thus RT minimizes negative economic, environmental, and social impacts and generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry.
i. Revenue Generated