Sunday, June 26, 2022

Kerala opens new investment opportunities in tourism

The Indian state of Kerala offers high investment opportunities in travel and hospitality even as the sector is set to bounce back from the covid-induced crisis, a senior minister has said. 

The government is unveiling several ambitious projects to tap the state’s potential as an extended tourist haven, Tourism Minister PA Mohamed Riyas said.  

Addressing a press conference in Dubai, Riyas said the state is keen to partner with UAE-based investors and Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs) in scripting a new story of growth and development in key sectors, especially tourism. 

Major initiatives promising attractive investment opportunities are ‘Exploring the Unexplored’ destinations, opening up the untapped Malabar region, Caravan Tourism, safe and regulated adventure tourism, experiential tourism, workcations and active holidays, the minister said. 

While the recently launched Caravan Tourism is sure to provide a riveting experience to visitors, houseboats will continue to be one of the top holiday experiences in Kerala. Caravanning will help Kerala tourism to expand beyond established destinations, he said. 

Riyas, who is leading a delegation from Kerala to Expo 2020 Dubai to showcase the state’s strengths, said the new projects have opened up investment possibilities in MICE facilities, resorts and hotels, caravans and caravan parks, farmstays, adventure holidays and travel and tour operations. The delegation includes Dr Venu V, Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism) and V R Krishna Teja, Director, Tourism.

Kerala has an investor-friendly institutional mechanism to provide quick approvals and mandatory clearances for investment proposals, the minister said. 

When the pandemic fades away, Ayurveda/health and wellness holidays will become important, for which the state is well-positioned to attract clients from the Middle East for wellness and rejuvenation holidays. 

A must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, Kerala is well positioned to attract young travelers with soft adventure activities in the hills and forests of Western Ghats. Kerala’s forests cover nearly 30 per cent of the total land area and there are 15 wildlife sanctuaries, 2 tiger reserves, 5 national parks and 60 plus eco-tourism destinations.

Kerala’s tourism development is centred around the idea of Responsible Tourism with community participation. Sustainable growth is the right approach to development, he said.

Emphasising on the strong government-to-government relations with UAE and people-to-people social and cultural ties, Riyas said he is confident that tourism will be a key driver in this relationship with more and more Keralites travelling to UAE, and vice-versa, in the future. 

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