Book on Kerala Tourism by Minister Riyas Unveiled at Sharjah Fair
Highlighting the government’s innovative endeavors to position Kerala as a premier global destination, Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas unveiled his landmark book during the 2023 Sharjah International Book Fair.
Entitled “Kerala Tourism Charithravum Varthamanavum,” the Malayalam publication eloquently depicts the unfolding of tourism in ‘God’s Own Country’ and the recent initiatives aimed at revitalizing it as a fundamental sector in the face of the global pandemic. Shaikh Abdulaziz bin Jamal Alqasimi, a member of the ruling family in Sharjah, graced the occasion as the chief guest. He formally inaugurated the Minister’s book, presenting the inaugural copy to Sayyid Munavvar Ali Shihab Thangal, the president of the Kerala Muslim Youth League, during the Saturday evening event. Notable figures in attendance included Waleed Bukathir, Vice Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, M.V. Shreyams Kumar and Deputy Editor P.P. Sasindran of Mathrubhumi, and V.T. Salim, Member of Loka Kerala Sabha.
The book captures the minister’s administrative journey over the last two and a half years. Speaking at the launch of “Charithravum Varthamanavum” (Kerala Tourism: History and Present Times) on the second-to-last day of the November 1-12 festival in the UAE city, he reflected on their primary focus when they assumed power in May 2021—to effectively manage the challenges posed by Covid-19. Emphasizing their success in overcoming that crisis, Shri Riyas highlighted that Kerala was recognized by the New York Times as one of the world’s 52 must-visit places in 2023.
The 168-page publication explores the diverse strategies employed by Kerala to harness its tourism potential. The Minister revealed that an upcoming Tourism Investors Meet scheduled for November 16 in the state capital is set to propel the government’s initiatives to boost the travel and hospitality sector in the region. The Minister expressed optimism that the conclave could provide additional momentum for collaborative efforts.
Charithravum Varthamanavum (priced at Rs 374), published by Mathrubhumi Books with a foreword by megastar Mohanlal, provides a comprehensive overview of Kerala’s tourism past and present. The book underscores the state’s commitment to Responsible Tourism, focusing on eco-friendly development and empowering local communities.
The publication delves into Kerala’s Tourism Marketing model and innovative initiatives like Destination Challenge, which engages local civic bodies from the village to urban levels. Its chapters shed light on women-friendly destinations, new Responsible Tourism packages, adventure tourism, the state’s forward-thinking Design Policy, and recent efforts to promote travel in upstate Malabar.
Shihab Thangal commended Chaithravum Varthamanavum for its research-oriented approach, incorporating insights from experts. Shaikh Abdulaziz and Waleed Bukathir also shared their perspectives.
In his foreword, celebrity actor Mohanlal lauds Chaithravum Varthamanavum for offering “compelling observations on how to develop the state’s endless tourism potential without causing harm.” He notes that the author, in a responsible position, demonstrates a deep understanding of the state’s history, geography, and climate, successfully implementing a thoughtful tourism plan with his team.