Chief Secretary E.K. Bharat Bhushan has said that Wayanad district is emerging as a major tourist destination in the State.
He was speaking after inaugurating a business meet held in connection with the fifth edition of Splash-2013, a monsoon carnival being organised by the Wayanad Tourism Organisation and the Tourism Department, which began here on Saturday.
Mr. Bharat Bhushan said that Wayanad was a rare hill station in the State to develop all types of tourism activities, including adventure tourism, heritage tourism, leisure tourism, and farm tourism.
He said its proximity to major tourism destinations such as Mysore, Bangalore, and Coorg in Karnataka and Ooty in Tamil Nadu enhanced its tourism potential further.
The government had given prime importance to the comprehensive development of the tourism sector in the Malabar region, especially in Wayanad, and various projects were being implemented to tap its potential, he said.
The joint efforts of the stakeholders in the tourism industry had a significant role in the growth of the sector, and events such as Splash would help to promote the destination.
Delivering the keynote address, S. Harikishore, Director, Tourism Department, said the government was planning to develop the proposed Karapuzha tourism project as the tourism hub of the district and launch a seaplane service to the reservoir.
The proposed adventure tourism project on Karlad Lake and mountain terrain biking, to be introduced in the district by January end, would make Wayanad an adventure tourism destination, Mr. Harikishore said.
En Uru, a project of the Scheduled Tribe Welfare Department that envisages setting up of a tribal haat, a combination of food plaza and crafts bazaar modelled on the Dilli Haat in New Delhi, would help to boost the tourism sector in the coming years, he said.
Jose Kynadi, president, Wayanad Tourism Organisation, presided over the function. Close to 65 stalls of the stakeholders in the hospitality industry from Wayanad; Mysore, Coorg, Bandipur, and Kabani in Karnataka; and Ooty in Tamil Nadu displayed the highlights of their properties.
Nearly 350 travel operators from different parts of the country attended the meet.
The carnival will conclude on Sunday.