Kottayam: Kumarakom, the popular destination in central Kerala, is all set to be the new face of Indian tourism. The recently presented Union Budget has recommended to include Kumarakom in the list of 17 Iconic Tourism Sites. This would lead to a comprehensive development of the Vemabanad tourism region.
The aim is to develop the basic amenities, facilities for tourists, environmental protection and to attract more tourists. A draft development report on Kumarakom was filed during the tenure of the last Narendra Modi government.
Former Minister of State for tourism Alphons Kannanthanam said that world-class facilities, including convention centres, water sport facilities, art gallery, and amusement park would be set up.
A road from National Highway in Cherthala to Kumarakom would be build. Kumarakom, Kuttanad and certain regions of Alappuzha district would be part of the project.
Vembanad to benefit
Kumarakom attained a global tourism status after the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spend his vacation at the region in December 2000. Travel magazine 'Lonely Planet' included Kumarakom among the must-visit places in the world.
Around 30 prominent hotels, including the Taj, are functioning in the region. Kumarakom also boasts of more than 1,500 houseboats. Around 4 lakh tourists, including 40,000 foreigners, visit the region in a year.
It is one of the main centres of responsible tourism. Kumarakom was declared as a special tourism zone in 2005. A ride along the backwaters in the houseboats, the farmlands of Kuttanad, and the bird sanctuary spread across 14 acres are the main attractions at Kumarakom. Delicacies made of pearl spot and prawns, too, attract visitors to this land.