Kerala Chief Minister A K Antony has called for a carrying
capacity study of the states backwaters and eco-friendly
initiatives for promoting sustainable tourism.
at Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), a three-day tourism buyer-seller
meet, Antony said the tourism industry and the government
should ensure a sustainable and eco-friendly environment.
This is essential both to sustain tourism as well
as to provide a necessary environment that will encourage
the growth of tourism.
recent years there has been a phenomenal growth in backwater
tourism. The carrying capacity of Keralas backwaters
needs to be scientifically assessed and all efforts should
be made to preserve the environment for sustainable backwater
tourism, he added.
diversification and technological improvement have created
a conducive environment for tourism development in the
present age of globalisation, he said. It has been
recognised as the core competency sector on account of
its potential for generating income and creating employment
tourist arrivals touched 5.5 million in 2001, generating
a revenue of $850 million, which is 6.29 per cent of the
states gross domestic product. Antony described
tourism as the engine of growth, giving a huge push
to Keralas economy in the coming years. Realising
the importance, the government has increased the allocation
for tourism by five-fold in the Tenth Five Year Plan.
Tourism Minister K V Thomas said the development of tourist
destinations will be controlled and regulated based on
the guidelines formulated through area development plans.
New products will be promoted to sustain the position,
which Kerala has already achieved in the tourist map of
tourism has initiated steps to develop and implement effective
marketing strategies for better mileage and value for
the money spent, he added. This will be based on
the market analysis and consumer preferences.
Industry Minister P K Kunhalikutty said KTM should be
seen as a curtain raiser to the Global Investors
Meet, scheduled to be held in January 2003 in Kochi. Indian
Prime Minister A B Vajpayee will inaugurate the meet.
KTM will give a good boost to GIM, Kunhalikutty said.
from Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore,
South Africa, Australia, the US, Italy, Belgium and Hong
Kong are attending the mart. Over 800 buyers have registered
and nearly 500 stalls, including 10 houseboats, have been
put up at the KTM venue.
Tourism Minister D B Inamdar, Tamil Nadu tourism commissioner
Vittal Murthy, Andhra Pradesh tourism secretary Chandana
Khan, among others, attended the inaugural function. The
tourism departments of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh,
Pondicherry, Lakhshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands
are participating in the mart.