Kerala has become one of the top tourism destinations and considered as the trendsetters in the country. The availability of natural resources and skilled laborers, strong local governments, helpful entrepreneurial community, multitude of small enterprises, streams of professionals and academicians, responsive tourism industry and responsible media give the state a perfect setting to implement and apply responsible tourism.
Responsible tourism was first introduced in four destinations; Kumarakom, thekkady, Kovalam and wayanad. Among those destinations kumarakom was honored by the tourism ministry.Kumarakom has the pride of being the first place in India to implement responsible tourism. At present it has been expanded to Kumbalanghi, Bekal and Ambalavayal.
Already there are 13 hotels and resorts in kumarakom which are classified in the list of responsible tourism and Abad whispering palms is one of it which has secured first position in the category ‘resorts’ for substantial and sustained effort in pollution control and initiatives in environmental protection in 2014.Receiving award for substantial and sustained effort in pollution control In 2013 Kerala tourism was conferred the top united national award for excellence and innovations in tourism for its global leadership in creating innovative initiatives for responsible tourism at Kumarakom and it was the first time ever India has won the recognition. Following the success in kumarakom and in different destinations, responsible tourism has been applied in other tourist destinations across the state.
Abad Group taking the lead in tourism surge
As the largest mid-sized hotel chain in Kerala is now looking at responsible tourism as the next game changer, responsible tourism is the way ahead for Kerala’s tourism industry. Mr. Jibran Asif Director (marketing and sales) of hospitality division of Abad group says responsible tourism “it’s a win-win situations of all the stakeholders. It gives the local population a sense of participation and economic benefits. It gives the visitors a feel of local culture. These are more important as the western visitors are looking beyond facilities. They want to experience the local culture, cuisine, traditions and life. Kerala is known as an expensive destinations and the visitors are looking for real value for their money. This is both an opportunity and a challenge. Kerala is uniquely positioned to take advantages of products like Ayurveda, adding the group has tied up with Dhanwantari, a name known for authentic Ayurveda to offer the services.
Kerala is now on the radar of the worlds’ largest hospitality companies. “We have to augment the infrastructure to meet the expectations of the tourist”. This is especially because the state is looking up to China and USA to send visitors here. “The Chinese will be looking for luxury, and we will have to carter to their demands.