Kerala Tourism rolls out Destination Challenge

Each local body must identify a potential tourism site that can be developed

June 08, 2022 08:19 pm | Updated 08:19 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

In an initiative to identify at least one tourism destination within every local self-government institution across the State, the Tourism department on Wednesday launched the Destination Challenge project in association with the Local Self-Government department (LSGD).

Inaugurating the project, Minister for Local Self-Government M.V. Govindan said the project aimed at developing tourism by ensuring the participation of the Local Self-Government Institutions (LSGIs). The State government has given administrative sanction for s₹50 crore for the implementation of the project.

At least 500 destinations

Mr. Govindan, who switched on the Destination Challenge web portal, said the initiative would help local bodies find financial resources to bring unexplored destinations on the tourism map. “Apart from providing civic services, the LSGIs have to grow to new levels to become self-reliant. We need to plan projects that enable comprehensive growth. Tourism is an ideal sector for panchayats, municipalities and corporations to become job-providers and attain financial stability,” he added.

Noting that Destination Challenge is a new step forward by Kerala Tourism, Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas, who presided over the function, said that through the project, the government was planning to develop at least 500 tourism destinations in four years.

The project comes as part of the government efforts to develop a new tourism culture in the State, and bring about a significant change in four years. Marketing campaigns will also be stepped up as part of the initiative, said Mr. Riyas.

Details on portal

The Tourism Department will bear 60% (maximum ₹50 lakh) of the total project cost. LSGIs can find the rest of the amount either from their own fund or through sponsorship. Besides identifying at least one destination under each LSGI, the initiative envisions linking tourism activities with various projects of LSGIs, thereby giving an impetus to domestic tourism, which has gained popularity after the pandemic.

LSGIs can submit details of the potential areas that can be developed as tourism destinations to the online portal www.keralatourism.org/destination-challenge.

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