Kerala's `ambassador'

Said to have been voted as the First Lady Rotarian, Tao Porchon Lynch is an 85-year-old yoga teacher. A proponent of `Yoga for world peace', she was in Kochi last week, heading a five-member team, to make documentaries on Kerala Tourism.

They were given a reception in the city by the International Forum for Cultural Heritage and Tradition (IFCHAT).

Ms. Lynch writes and directs travelogues and documentaries for the U.N. ``Kerala is wonderful. I am thrilled. I will be your mouthpiece in every platform that I get,'' she said.

But the abject lack of toilets put her off. ``The few toilets that are around are dirty and nauseating,'' she said, echoing the feeling that international and domestic tourists have.

Even the so-called `pay and use' toilets have become a bad business of sorts these days. Bad, because at several tourist spots, tourists have to pay for using what is often a foul smelling, badly maintained facility.

And those involved in tourism promotion might well do to address this problem because it will contribute to making or marring the State's image as a premium tourist destination. And in this context, it is not just the availability of good toilets that is going to make a difference but a whole lot of other facilities as well. Providing the best experience to tourists should be the ultimate objective.

By John L. Paul