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Trivandrum- Tourist places, new projects & Updates

434801 Views 1363 Replies 125 Participants Last post by  SureshSS
Updates on tourist places in Trivandrum, photos of different tourist places, new tourism initiatives in Ananthapuri
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Varkala Beach, Thiruvananthapuram

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Varkala Beach, Thiruvananthapuram

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Varkala Beach, Thiruvananthapuram

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Pilot Project for Garbage Disposal Mooted in Kovalam

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The city’s prided tourist destination, Kovalam, might turn out a trend-setter in solid waste management too. The Tourism Department has mooted a pilot project for garbage disposal aimed at treating the waste generated in houses and hotels alike, in the tourist spot. A campaign to take the project to the people is being planned and it is likely to be launched soon.

"Considering the garbage crisis the city is facing, we are piloting the project in Kovalam. We have envisaged the project to be implemented in select tourist destinations in the State,’’ said Rani George, Director, Department of Tourism.

However, she did not disclose more on the project and said that a final picture would emerge in a couple of weeks or so. Sources said that the idea is to offer biowaste plants of mini and major sizes to the households and hotels with a very low beneficiary contribution. The Department would provide subsidy for setting up the plants.

The Tourism Director said the project is before the Government for a final clearance. The project has been included in the Department’s annual plan proposals under a special head, taking into view the urgent need for proper solid waste management schemes, she said.

The Harbour ward, which includes the Kovalam tourist destination, has been battling a war against plastic menace for some time. Not just the tourist spot, but the roads leading to the place are also litter-filled. However, Harbour councillor Sudheer Khan said a private agency has been engaged in collecting kitchen and plastic waste in the area, helping things.

"The kitchen waste is high in demand in pig farms and the plastic is collected and transported outside. However, the new project by the Tourism Department could well be a new beginning. We are planning to launch a campaign on the project soon,’’ Sudheer said.

According to him, biowaste plants that cost Rs 10,000 and more would be made available to houses and restaurants with a meagre beneficiary cost. Houses could opt for plants with a treatment capacity of 2 tonnes and more and that too from a long list of agencies in the job. Through the campaign, the public would be introduced to the different options they have. He added that a final decision regarding the subsidy was yet to be arrived.
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Kerala Tourism Invites Tourists From The Gulf

Trivandrum: Kerala, the paradise of tourists is now all set to attract travellers from the Gulf countries by organising road shows in Saudi Arabia.

The maiden road show of Kerala Tourism will begin in Jeddah, the popular urban centre of oil-rich Saudi Arabia, on May 6. The three-day road show will also touch Riyadh and Dammam on May 7 and 8, respectively. This will be led by Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar.

While talking to the press, the Tourism Minister said that Kerala and the Gulf countries have enjoyed historical and traditional ties. “Kerala is a natural destination for tourists from the Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the biggest market for outbound tourists in the Gulf region. We want to invite travelers from Saudi Arabia to Kerala’s world renowned tourism destinations,” he added.

The Gulf region recorded more than 9 million outbound tourists in 2011 and the figure is likely to touch 35 million by 2020. Saudi Arabia accounts for 40 per cent of these outbound tourists. The other countries, which are joining the tourism bandwagon are the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain. India is among the major destinations sought after by the Arab tourists, besides the UK, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

“We are looking forward to a spurt in foreign tourist arrivals in Kerala in the coming years. Saudi Arabia is a very important market for us because there is a lot of scope for Arab tourists to come to Kerala,” said Kerala Tourism Secretary Manoj Kumar.

In each of the three Saudi Arabian cities there will be almost 50 local tour operators participating in the road shows, with whom Kerala hopes to ink several business deals. A delegation led by the Minister and the Tourism Secretary and including 15 tourism service providers from Kerala will participate in the road shows.

“We have received many visitors from the Gulf countries, especially from Saudi Arabia. We are certain that tourists from Saudi Arabia would love to enjoy the rich greenery and natural attractions of Kerala like the majestic backwaters, beautiful beaches and the tranquil hills,” explained Kerala Tourism Director Rani George.

Tourists from Saudi Arabia prefer to travel during the harsh summer (June to September). The new Arab travelers are the highest spending travelers abroad from the Gulf region with nearly half of the country’s population in the higher income bracket. They now prefer to spend their holidays in Asia, India being one of the favourite destinations. Kerala’s monsoon tourism and Ayurveda are already drawing a number of travellers from Saudi Arabia.

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Record tourist arrivals in Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala registered a record tourist arrival of one crore with the tourism industry generating a revenue of Rs 19,037 crore (Rs 190.37 billion) during the last one year.

Foreign tourist arrivals was 7,32,985 while 93,81,455 domestic travellers visited the state during the period, Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.

The God's Own Country, known for its backwaters, houseboats and serene beaches, netted a foreign exchange income of Rs 3,797.37 crore (Rs 37.97 billion) for the period, he said.

Revenue from tourism sector was Rs 19,037 crore (Rs 190.37 billion) last year against Rs 17,348 crore (Rs 173.48 billion) during the previous year, he added.

To woo more foreign tourists, Kerala Tourism Department would conduct road shows in several countries, including Russia, Australia and the Gulf region, he said.
Kovalam to go ‘beyond the beach’ to promote tourism

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala tourism is planning to reintroduce its "beyond the beach" programme at Kovalam from the next tourist season.

Panchayats located around Kovalam involved with the procurement process for tourism department's ambitious responsible tourism project will be given top priority for the programme.

The programme, which introduces tourists to the village life experience was started a year back at Kovalam, Wayanad and Kumarakom. While the idea caught on at Kumarakom, it went belly up at Kovalam after 15 tours for lack of proper marketing.

The department has revamped the project and identified many products to facilitate the different tour packages. "There was only one weaving unit included in the tour which was out of the way, this time we have identified multiple units to help keep the tours flexible. Also travel desks at various hotels around Kovalam will be informed of the project," said Saroop, assistant professor KITTS and coordinator RT projects (Responsible Tourism). Tour operators and hotel staff will be taken on a mock tour to familiarize them with the product and a short film on the initiative will be uploaded on the RT website in July.

"The project has been designed to economically support the local community. We are training 20 people from Vizhinjam, Venganoor and Kottukal panchayats to earn a living as guides. If food is part of the package then it will be eaten at a local house or one of the Kudumbasree units," said the RT coordinator.

The tourists will be taken around the villages to give them a slice of the rural life. They will be taken to mushroom farms, vegetable cultivation plots, a cage-maker for lobster catching, Kathakali mask making unit and coir weaving factory. "All tours will be routed through the tourist information centre, so that local guides can hop on board the tours. They have been designed aimed at getting tourists to spend an extra day at Kovalam," said UV Jose, planning officer Kerala tourism department.
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Kerala gears up for monsoon tourism

The state of Kerala is gearing up for a significant number of tourists during the monsoons, referred to as the ‘dream season’to visit. The state tourism department has stated that in the months of monsoon – from June to September – the number of tourists from Europe commonly goes down.

This year, a heavy influx of tourists from Gulf countries is expected, considering the workshops and campaigns the department has recently undertaken in the Gulf.

The department stated that domestic tourists largely prefer spots like Alappuzha, Munnar, Thekkady and Kochi, while international travellers commonly lean towards Alappuzha, Kovalam, Varkkala and Thekkady, during the monsoon season.

Estimates by the tourism department indicate that nearly 7.3 lakh tourists visited the state in the rainy season in 2011. The number of monsoon tourists to the state in the year 2012 is expected to rise by five to 10 percent, as the marketing campaign of the department has received good response from places like Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh in the Gulf.

Rani George, Director of the Tourism Department, stated that a number of tourists from the Gulf are keen to get the benefit of Kerala Ayurvedic treatments.

Keeping this in view, the tourism department has developed packages specific to these tourists, largely focusing on Ayurvedic treatments. An official of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) confirmed that the state is indeed expecting a significant rise in the number of monsoon tourists this year, adding that enquiries and bookings for hotels has already started.
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