By Priti Prakash | PUBLISHED: 12, Jul 2022, 23:07 pm IST | UPDATED: 13, Jul 2022, 10:18 am IST
New Delhi: Think of a breakfast near a waterfall or at a beach, lunch in the paddy fields & dinner in the middle of the forest with bonfire. Its Caravan Tourism. You will be received at the airport in a luxury bus to be driven around as per your choice.
In a bid to reinvent itself after a devastating pandemic Kerala Tourism is offering a rainbow bouquet to tourists visiting the state. Its not just the picturesque Backwaters, calming Ayurveda & wellness, adventurous forest & wildlife, adrenaline rushing Boat race event, exciting rituals & traditions that is the USP of Kerala, added to them are a number of activities & attractions initiated by the Tourism Department that makes Kerala the much envied travel destination.
Caravan Tourism is a new project from Kerala Tourism that is creating lots of buzz among travellers. It has registered 140 caravan parks in the most pristine & beautiful locations. There are 11 caravans already running. As demand soars 25 are under manufacturing and people have shown interest in buying 430 caravans in a span of one year expecting a total of 500 caravans taking tourists to savour Gods Own Country, informed Director Kerala Tourism VK Teja. It offers 3 varieties. The Benz Caravan, the Forbes Caravan, the Isuzu Caravan. A caravan can easily carry 4 adults & 2 children. For safety, night caravans are going to be parked in the caravan parks which are registered by Kerala Tourism & security is completely checked before registering these caravan parks.
Now how to book a Caravan is as simple as it can get, says VK Teja. Just google 'karavankerala keralatourism' weblink and you can book your tickets there. To make it further easier, he says, we have launched an AI enabled whatsapp number with the name MAYA. Just say Hi to MAYA on whatsapp on the number 7510512345 and you will get all the details.
Teja says 2022 is the year of Kerala Tourism. 'We have lined up series of adventure activities with sports & events. We have the Champions Boat League in the month of September, October & November, Kochi Muziris Biennale, very famous contemporary art show from Dec 2022- April 2023 in Kochi. Then we also have series of activities like Malabar River festival, Thrissur Poornam etc which will keep tourists engaged the whole year.' Other events are Splash in Wayanad in July, Mountain Terrain Biking, Utsavam Folklore Festival, Chaliyar River Paddle and Kerala Literary Festival.
Known for its backwaters, a new project launched by Kerala Tourism is about thrill and challenges. "We are a new entrants into adventure tourism but we have become famous with what is called Nature Based Soft Adventure activities. Kerala has a series of forests & hills. So we have lined up adventure & activity that includes trekking, biking, kayaking, rafting, Parasailing, snorkelling, ziplining, Jungle safari, cycle through tea gardens etc, said Teja.
The former Managing Director of Kerala Tourism said, Kerala being rich in biodiversity has a variety of forests and wildlife that has a great potential for tourism. The state has deciduous forest, shaola forest, Evergreen forest, grasslands & mangroves, in which we are offering multiple exciting activities.
Committed to Responsible Tourism, Teja clarified that if Rs 100 is spent by a tourist in Kerala we ensure that Rs 30-35 reaches the local people in the surrounding area, benefits of tourism to local people is the aim of Kerala Tourism. The best example of responsible tourism is Kumarakam. It is completely clean, environment friendly, most of the local people are directly or indirectly involved in tourism.
Street Tourism which is part of Responsible Tourism is not only about infrastructure but about bringing tourist to experience nature & as close to nature as possible. To make Kerala plastic free, hotels have been encouraged to use glass bottles. With the support of international development programme Kerala Tourism is coming up with plastic free destination where a series of Green Checkposts are being created which will check plastic material from tourists and only will then they be allowed.
Kerala is home to Ayurveda which dates back thousands of years. In another initiative the government has converted traditional disciplines of Asthavedya, the discipline of treating various ailments through scientific one by establishing Ayurveda colleges. What makes Kerala an ideal destination for Ayurveda treatments is the right weather, freshness of oils, culture & scientifically disciplined manpower.
Post pandemic domestic tourism in Kerala has bounced back. Teja interestingly calls it 'revenge tourism'. He informed that all resorts & hotels are full till June end. July is also promising. Kerala Tourism prides at keeping minute counted targets. Every minute Kerala receives 35 domestic tourist & 2 international tourists on an average, informed Teja. 100% of 80 plus people in Kerala have got single doze vaccine. 88% of the people who are above 80 are double vaccinated, around 50% have got booster dose in Kerala which shows how resilient & committed Kerala is in promoting safe & secure tourism.
PATA & Kerala Tourism have collaborated in bringing best tourism opportunities to tourists & tour operators to take forward tourism industry.
by : Priti Prakash
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