Kerala

Expanding experiential tourism facilities

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Visitors to State keen on getting unique peek into local life

Gone are the days when regular camera-and-bottle wielding tourists flocked the typically ‘popular destinations’ on offer in the God’s Own Country. The visitors landing here nowadays look to stay in its villages, know the local culture, visit lesser-known spots, and explore other areas of interest.

Taking into consideration this ever-growing interest in experiencing the unblemished countryside life of Kerala, the Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission has embarked on a plan to open more experiential stay facilities in its villages. As part of it, the agency has now sought expression of interests from households for establishing home-stays, service villas, grihasthalis, and tent camps.

“Experiential stay is an evolving segment as about 60% of our guests have expressed their willingness to extend their stay to get a unique peek into local life. Our focus is on tapping into this demand while it also presents a chance for those currently operating in violation of norms to regularise themselves,” said K. Roopesh Kumar, coordinator, RT Mission.

For instance, the total number of home-stays available in Kottayam, where tourists land in huge numbers every year, is less than 20. Given the sharp increase in village tourism activities in the region over the past couple of years, the authorities look to take this number to around 200 this season.

“The demand is rising, especially as experiential tourism is moving beyond the activities in its coastal backwaters to the plantation life on the highlands. There is an urgent need to address this lacuna,” he added.

88,000 guests

As per estimates, about 88,000 guests have visited the various villages of Kerala under the village life experience packages offered by the RT Mission. The segment is witnessing a huge draw in the current season as well with guests in different groups beginning to flock to the interiors of Kottayam and Alappuzha as early as by November first week.

The identified households will be imparted training in experiential tourism, the packages on offer, guest management, communication, and digital marketing. The training programmes will be organised in four to five days at different locations of the State as per the convenience of participants.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 2:03:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/expanding-experiential-tourism-facilities/article30020004.ece

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