ETW STAFF – New Delhi
The World Travel and Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII) recently hosted a retreat in Bekal, Kerala. The retreat focused on bringing the southern states and the industry stakeholders to common meeting grounds with a common agenda for development of tourism in the southern region. Ideas were exchanged on the various issues affecting inter-state tourism circuit development, the new tourism products/ policy that each state is planning to bring to the fore, the necessary infrastructure, policy and other interventions needed to make these initiatives a success story.
Subodh Kant Sahai, minister for tourism, Government of India; Anil Kumar, minister for tourism, Government of Kerala; Anand Singh, minister for tourism, Government of Karnataka; RH Khwaja, secretary – ministry of tourism,Government of India were among those present. “Tourism has yet to get the highest political and economic priority and recognition. Tourism is still not a political agenda of many states. The states must realise that tourism is a business model,” said Sahai.
According to Anil Kumar the new tourism policy will take tourism of Kerala to the next level. The seaplane project, which was announced in the Emerging Kerala event, will connect the backwaters and Arabian Sea to all tourism destinations in Kerala. “The average duration of stay for international tourists in Kerala is 16.2 days and we would increase this duration by improving the quality of experience in Kerala,” he said.