I have written before about the importance of the Responsible Tourism initiatives taking place in Kerala and the way that because RT has secured support from both the panchayat and businesses it is firmly established and secure when the state government changes. read more
Kerala is self-critical of its Responsible Tourism efforts. The government has included eight more tourist
centres under responsible tourism programme. The potential of Responsible Tourism was yet to be fully tapped in the state.
Anil Kumar, the Kerala Minister of Tourism, said that although the programme of Responsible Tourism
had been launched in Kovalam, Kumarakom, Wayanad and Thekkady
it was successful to a considerable extent only at Kumarakom.
And Kerala is discussing the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to Responsible Tourism and learning from their experience. The success of the initiatives in Kumarakom which I have seen first hand over the last few days are being built on in Phase 2 of the Responsible Tourism programme: Let's Travel Together, Responsibly.
Last night the Hon. Minister for Tourism, Shri. A.P. Anil Kumar launched the second phase of the programme and honoured those panchayat leaders, local people and hotels who made the first phase a success.
The second phase involves extending the experimental work to other parts of Kerala, working to ensure that local people gain from tourism and have better livelihood opportunities as well as developing Responsible Tourism classification criteria and a new website: www.rtkerala.com
It was an honour to be present at the launch of the second phase and to be working the Kerala Department of Tourism, and the Kerala Institute of Travel and Tourism Studies (KITTS) to research the impacts of the porgramme.