Kerala to enhance tourism offerings through seaplane and Muziris projects
Rituparna Chatterjee – Mumbai
The Government of Kerala, which had rolled out the seaplane and Muziris projects to enhance the travel experience and add to the state’s array of attractions, has seen progression on this front. The seaplane project, aimed at improving last mile connectivity by air to destinations across the state, will provide service initially in the priority circuit, consisting of the three airports of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Calicut and destinations like Astamudi, Punnamada, Kumarakom, Bolgatty and Bekal. While Project Muziris aimed at reinstating the historical and cultural significance of the port of Muziris, which is a part of Central Kerala, has already witnessed the setting up of around 10-15 museums to give a glimpse into the history of this legendary port and Kerala.
Elaborating on the same, Nandakumar K P, deputy director, Kerala Tourism, stated, “Under project Muziris, around 35-40 museums will be setup phase wise among which 10-15 museums have already been setup. In the last budget more than Rs 300 crore was earmarked for project Muziris. Meanwhile we are also trying to link the Spice Route project with project Muziris.” Under the Spice Route project, Kerala Tourism aims to share the heritage among 31 countries along the ancient route. This project has recently received support from UNESCO. “We will market the Spice Route Project packages in the 31 countries. We have presented this to UNWTO as well and they have shown interest,” he added.
As for the seaplane project, he stated, “We launched this a year back but because of protests from the local fishing community we could not come in full strength. But we are resolving the issue with them and before October-November this year it will come in full force.”
Kerala Tourism had declared the period from April 2015 to April 2016 as ‘Visit Kerala Year’. Under this initiative, Kerala Tourism will explore new markets like China, Sri Lanka, among others. In 2015, Kerala received 7,75,390 foreign tourists for the period January-October and 76,71,277 domestic tourists from January–August.