Development of a ‘Spice Route’, linking Kerala with 31 countries across the globe will give a big boost to the State’s tourism sector, Sitaram Yechury, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, has said. He said the ‘Spice Route’ could take a cue from the Silk Route that links China with Istanbul in Turkey.

Mr. Yechury was speaking to the media here after a six-day visit of the Parliamentary Committee to Kochi. Committee members visited Cochin Port Trust and shipyard in the city, and tourist destinations Munnar and Thekkady.

The CPI(M) leader, along with his colleagues in the committee, Bimla Kashyap Sood (BJP) and Shashi Bhushan Behera (BJD), said National Waterway III should be extended beyond Kottappuram to the historic site of Muzuris so that tourists could use the waterway to reach the site as part of the tourism circuit.

The committee also drew attention to the lack of museums at important tourist destinations in the State. The need was felt more acutely at Munnar, where the local tribal population had been integrated with the tourism industry. The story of Munnar and its people were now left to the imagination of taxi drivers who take tourists to the place, said Mr. Yechury.

He said the International Container Transshipment Terminal at Vallarpadam needed some concessions for it to achieve its goals.