Kerala

Kerala bets big on caravan tourism to recover from pandemic lows

People check out caravans parked near the venue of a workshop organized jointly by Transport and Tourism departments on Caravan Tourism, in Kochi on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: John L. Paul

The caravan parks coming up across the State as part of the Keravan Kerala project will be located in natural settings, giving top priority to hygiene and the safety and security of tourists, Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas has said.

“What makes Kerala’s caravan tourism policy different is that it is more responsible and committed to local communities. The policy lays emphasis on the safety and security of tourists and sustainable use of local resources in creating caravan parks,” Mr. Riyas says.

The Minister has said tourist caravans will offer comfortable and fully regulation-compliant and safe stay. The caravan parks will also be secure places that will not upset the natural and cultural settings of the locale, he notes. “There will not be any garish constructions, leaving the place as natural as possible. Each caravan park will have a sewage treatment plant. The basic theme of the project is to club the luxury of caravan with the natural look of the park,” a press note quoting him says on Monday.

The Keravan Kerala policy provides attractive incentives, including investment subsidy for purchase of caravan vehicles. Leading tour operators says they have received positive feedback on caravan tourism from their counterparts from within the country and outside.

Abraham George, Managing Director of Intersight Tours and Travels, says his company will design hybrid packages by including caravan tourism, which will attract visitors to lesser-known destinations. “We believe there will be a good demand for caravans as the recent trend shows that most of the tourists are coming as couples or families and they want to go to less-crowded places. It will be a big hit with honeymooners because of the privacy and security offered by caravans,” he says, adding “Kerala is already a favourite destination for newly married couples.”

Riyaz U.C., managing director, Spiceland Holidays, says caravan tourism will be packaged as a standalone product as well as a hybrid package. “In the hybrid model, caravan tourism will be included as a two-day activity. Eventually, we will explore the possibilities of introducing a hop-on and hop-off model to reduce cost.”

The policy has laid down clear guidelines for setting up caravan parks, which can be developed in the private sector, public sector or joint sector. The configuration of parks will vary from location to location, though the fundamental attributes remain the same.

They will be operational 24x7 during the tourist season, or on demand, and connected with fair-weather roads from the main road. They will be provided all trading licences from competent authorities for fire and pollution compliance, electricity, water and sewage connections and public liability insurance.

The parks in hilly and ecologically fragile areas will have to incorporate creative architecture in conformity with local heritage. Caravan parks can also be set up in plantations, properties of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) and local self-government institutions.


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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 7:52:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-bets-big-on-caravan-tourism-to-recover-from-pandemic-lows/article37053819.ece

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