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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hiruvananthapuram: As part of implementing responsible tourism initiatives in the state, the Kerala Tourism department organised a workshop in Thiruvananthapuram. Mr. P Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism and Managing Director of Kannur International Airport elaborated on the new Tourism Policy, Responsible Tourism and the Green Carpet Action Plan formulated by the government at the workshop.
Mr. P Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism and Managing Director of Kannur International Airport said, “The Tourism policy 2017 implementation will commence with the implementation of Green Carpet action plan 2017-18. Also, the tourism department shall implement Green Protocol in all 78 locations by December 15th.”
Speaking on the Green Carpet Action Plan, Mr. Bala Kiran said that the action plan has been formulated by including nine agendas by inculcating the points from the total 16 agendas that is being discussed and deliberated upon worldwide. The Green Carpet Action Plan, in fact, aims at transforming the tourism sector in Kerala into different travel-friendly destinations. The plan is being implemented by imbibing the points in the new tourism policy. The general development aspects that have been put forward by the Tourism policy, the Green Kerala Mission and Responsible Tourism are being implemented in this regard, he said.
Pointing out that Responsible Tourism forms the crux of the state government’s tourism policy. The features incorporated are People-friendliness, Nature-friendliness and aspects that remain socially acceptable. The projects and schemes undertaken to a well charted out roadmap.
Calling upon the participants at the workshop to ensure that the core targets that drive tourism development in Kerala reach out to the general public, Mr. Bala Kiran added that as many as 78 centres have been identified to be included in the Green Carpet Action Plan.
The tourism department and the state government have been working towards successful implementation of Responsible Tourism by ensuring nature-friendly and waste-free initiatives, he added. Shri Kadakampally Surendran, Hon. Minister for Tourism and Dr. Venu V, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism have been instrumental in effectively charting out the plan so that it could be implemented in a hassle free manner.
Stating that the tourism destinations in Kerala are high on the national and international travellers’ itineraries, he said that the Green Carpet Action Plan centres round the nine aspects such as:
· Scientific system for collection and management of solid waste
· Well maintained public toilets and their management
· Improved accessibility and well maintained lighting system, pathways, signage, tourist facilities and equipment
· Safe drinking water and food
· Adoption of green principles and moving towards carbon neutrality
· Facilities for authentic information, feedback and complaint redressal
· Trained and responsible staff, volunteers and service providers with distinguishable name badges
· Community participation in development, operation and management.
Further, every tour destination in Kerala will be made differently abled friendly too, he said.
Mr. Bala Kiran informed the participants that district-level meetings will be organised between November 30 and December 8 to ensure the action plan is carried out with no glitches whatsoever. The meetings will have the participation of the District Collector, MLA of the respective constituency, and other people’s representatives.
Mr. Bala Kiran called upon the district authorities to ensure that all cleaning activities be done before December 15. During the second week of December, a state-level workshop will be organised, while district level workshops will held between December 8 and 15. Destination-level workshops will be organised between December 10 and 18, he said.
The workshop had the participation of 75 officials, including District Tourism Promotion Council secretaries, regional joint directors, deputy directors, project engineers, destination managers, tourism officials. Apart from the Tourism Director, Responsible Tourism State Coordinator Shri Rupesh Kumar, Planning Officer Shri. Satheesh, Assistant Planning Officer Shri. Jayakumar, Shri Madhusoodanan and others participated.