Kerala

‘State should not be a destination for mass tourism’

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Focus on sustainable and responsible tourism

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Madrid-head-quartered United Nations agency that promotes responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism, sees sustainable and responsible tourism as the best bet to increase footfall to God’s Own Country in the days ahead.

“Kerala is showing how to make the world a better place to live and increase tourist arrivals. The image and products are impressive. The culture and nature is bountiful. The State should not be a destination for mass tourism,” UNWTO Deputy Director, Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific, Harry Hwang told The Hindu on Saturday.

Kerala should concentrate on experiential tourism as destinations across the world were turning to be experientialto increase footfall.

Mr. Hwang says those at the helm of affairs, tourism planners, and industry stakeholders should not forget the experience of Asian destinations that went for mass tourism. Kerala should tread cautiously when it goes in search of new tourism markets. “The tourism industry should learn why Australia has no target for tourist arrivals and why they concentrate on income.”

Mr. Hwang, who was here to attend an international seminar on “Global Trends in Tourism Studies’ at the Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS), is of the view that Kerala should not ignore the footfall from immediate neighbouring countries. “Every tourist destination gets 70 % of their tourist arrivals from neighbourhood. Never neglect them and they will stand with you in times of crisis,” he says.

Kerala Tourism has emerged as a strong brand. The industry has shown that it can bounce back immediately as it did after one of the worst floods witnessed in the State in 2018.

Mr. Hwang said Asia was helping in achieving tourism growth in a big way and attempts were on to reach out to the private sector from Asia to be dynamic.

“India deserves more tourist footfall as the industry is professional, use technology and social media and creativity in promoting the destination and the country can expect a surge in arrivals,” he feels.

Mr. Hwang said the UNWTO was looking forward for more closer interaction with KITTS, which is an Affiliate member of UNWTO and Vice President of Affiliate Member Board of UNWTO in South Asia Region.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 4:34:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/state-should-not-be-a-destination-for-mass-tourism/article29544415.ece

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