Kerala’s STREET endeavour aims at promoting travel to the hinterland
The onset of an innovative ‘Destination Challenge’ that encourages civic administrations to locate and develop at least one travel destination within their boundary is expected to provide much muscle to local self-government bodies in Kerala to become the most vital undertakers of tourism in the state.
As part of the innovative move, a pioneering project christened STREET was set in motion by the tourism department at Thrithala in Palakkad district of the state. This marked the state-level launch of the Kerala Tourism initiative that promotes travel into the rural hinterlands.
According to Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas, the Destination Challenge strives to explore locations that have tourism potential, but had remain ignored. Maintaining such locations by ensuring that they are income-earning will make the newly-developed places good assets, he added.
STREET to make tourism people-centric
The Minister said the government’s aim was to make tourism projects people-centric by involving the local population. For that, the Responsible Tourism Mission’s STREET project will be a catalyst. The administrators of such endeavours will also be their protectors,” he said.
Kerala Tourism’s STREET, which is the acronym for Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic, Tourism hubs, is being implemented in 10 locations of the state with UNWTO’s ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’ as the slogan. In Palakkad, the spot comprises the adjacent villages of Thrithala and Pattithara.
With tourism growing beyond just sight-seeing, the whole experience has turned experiential. The new attitude is to see tourism as a mix of the arts, culture, life and agriculture. The other places that are poised to implement STREET projects are in the districts of Kozhikode, Kannur, Kottayam, Idukki and Wayanad.
Implemented by Responsible Tourism Mission
The STREET project is expected to bring in tourism initiatives that suit the culture and topography of the region. These include green street, cultural street, ethnic cuisine/food street, village life experience/experiential tourism street, agri-tourism street, water street and arts street.
The project, being implemented under the Responsible Tourism Mission (RTM), will ensure that its implementation retains the normalcy of the villages and maintains its ecology well. The idea is to introduce travellers to rustic Kerala while also fetching income to the residents.