Kerala Tourism will take ‘World Tourism Day’ celebrations tomorrow to the grassroots with two contests aimed at carrying the community participation in sustainable tourism development to a higher level.
A ‘Photo Contest’ for amateur photographers and a statewide ‘Idea Contest’ open to all tourism clubs, both on the subject of the ‘Responsible Tourism’ initiative of the state tourism department, will be the highlights of the World Tourism Day in Kerala.
‘Tourism and Community Development’ is the theme of ‘World Tourism Day’ this year.
The winners of the ‘Photo Contest’ will get a holiday package in Kerala while the best ideas on ‘How to take the Responsible Tourism activities in Kerala to the next level’ will be rewarded with attractive prizes.
‘As the world leader in sustainable tourism, our state will celebrate World Tourism Day in the most befitting manner,’ said Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar, ‘By thinking together on intensifying our initiatives to achieve tourism growth in a sustainable manner.’
The World Tourism Day celebrations this year will be the first since Kerala Tourism won the Ullysses Prize, the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s top prize for excellence in sustainable tourism. In January this year, the state tourism department received the highest honour for its ‘Responsible Tourism’ model in Kumarakom, which links the local community with the hospitality industry and government departments to achieve community development and eco-friendly tourism.
‘Only with the participation of the people, we can find more suitable ways to develop tourism in our state while remaining a global leader,’ said Mr Anilkumar.
Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa said the state’s strides in the tourism sector had brought ‘more meaning’ and ‘further responsibility’ to the World Tourism Day celebrations. ‘With the help of the people, we will gift more ideas and models to the world for a sustainable tourism development and thus contribute towards making the world a better place to live,’ Mr Billa said.
First launched in Kumarakom six years ago, the ‘Responsible Tourism’ initiative of Kerala Tourism has spread to three more destinations – Wayanad, Thekkady and Kovalam. The state tourism department has also launched Village Life Experience packages, which help in the development of local community in tourism destinations across the state.
‘It is a matter of pride that the whole society in our state combine to celebrate ‘World Tourism Day’,’ said Kerala Tourism Director P I Sheik Pareeth. ‘Kerala has been a pioneer in introducing new ideas to achieve tourism development, such as public-private participation and use of technology and the sector has played a significant role in achieving an inclusive growth in Kerala.’
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