The Kerala Tourism Policy 2017, to be unveiled soon, will focus on promoting adventure and activity-based tourism in a big way. The change in strategy is aimed at attracting more young visitors to the state. In the run-up to the promotion of adventure and activity-based tourism, specific guidelines will be put in place, which will be in tune with international standards.
According to Tourism Director P Bala Kiran, it is for the first time the state is evolving its own set of guidelines in the adventure and activity-based tourism sector. “Before bringing out the guidelines, discussions will be held with various departments such as ports, minor irrigation, police, fire safety and health,” the Tourism Director told ‘Express’.
District Collectors will be responsible for implementing the new guidelines and will be tasked with stopping such activities in case they fail to meet the set standards. Periodic checks will also be conducted to ensure compliance.
Though few, private players are active in a few tourist destinations of the state offering various adventure activities. However, the lack of guidelines and proper monitoring mechanism had made the activities unaccountable.
“Implementing strict safety standards for adventure activities is the need of the hour as an accident would earn a black mark for the state’s tourism sector as a whole,” according to Asha Jose, CEO, Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society. “The move is also expected to instil confidence among tourists and attract established and genuine players,” she said.
Jackson Peter, managing partner of Bond Safari, a Kovalam-based underwater adventure company, is of the view that beyond framing of guidelines, what is needed is its strict implementation.
“Strict implementation of the safety guidelines will ensure that unscrupulous elements who have entered the sector will eventually be weeded out,” he said.