Idukki: Though Idukki still has the scars from the landslides and flood which ravaged most parts of it, the beautiful valleys and the misty mountains in the district are all set to welcome the visitors. Even though the losses which were incurred during this season cannot be reclaimed, it definitely shows signs of recovery.
The fact that most of the tourism centers and resorts didn't suffer destruction in the deluge has inspired the tourism sector of Idukki to revive its operations in full swing. The authorities are trying hard to rebuild the roads and bridges which were either damaged or destroyed.
The Kerala Tourism aims to be the flag bearer of sustainable tourism projects which could earn international recognition as well. Idukki too focuses on it as it is recovering from the losses suffered during the flood. Excellent planning and execution has made the rebuilding activities swift and efficient.
Special emphasis is given to the development of basic facilities by initiating environmental friendly projects and building long lasting roads. Many projects which focus on the rural, agricultural and social tourism prospects and the next edition of the Biennale are the upcoming events. It is an incredible opportunity to lead success from the coast where Biennale will be held to the mountains where agricultural and rural tourism thrive.
The success of the project which gives importance to the rural, agricultural and social factors largely depends on nature. Scaria Jose, the executive director of the Carmelia Haven, a plantation resort in Vandanmedu says that efforts to attract more tourists should be made without harming the beauty of nature.
The entrepreneurs in Idukki plan to draw tourists by projecting the responsible tourism which focuses on the uniqueness of the rural life. To provide the opportunity to experience the day to day activities of the plantation laborers, try out the mouth watering rural cuisine and to discover new tourism centers are some of the novel ideas put forward by the tourism enthusiasts in the district.
Scaria points out that the Calvary Mount trekking, a trip to the Anjuruli Ayyappankovil, tour through the cardamom and tea plantations, the chance to experience the lives in the tribal settlements at Kozhimala are some of the factors which could draw tourists to Idukki. However, basic facilities should be developed at these areas to make the project take off efficiently. Besides, vigorous campaigning through the social media too should be done to ensure that more people become aware about it.
Jiju James, the general secretary of the Thekkady destination promotion council notes that the entrepreneurs in Idukki have already begun executing the project which aims to attract visitors through farm tourism. The responsible tourism mission currently functions only in Thekkady. However, the authorities assure that it would be extended to other major tourism centers as well. Abraham George, member of the central tourism advisory council says, “The months of December and January are usually the time when the tourism industry witnesses a surge. The ODI cricket match held in Thiruvananthapuram and the mega rally of around 200 house boats in Alappuzha helped to erase the hesitation that existed in the minds of domestic tourists about visiting Kerala. Virat Kohli’s tweet too had given an incredible mileage for Kerala Tourism.”