Kerala Tourism Empowering Locals
It is safe to say that Kerala, with its quick and efficient response, has been a model state in the fight against Covid-19 right from the beginning. Active surveillance, risk communication, strong community participation and addressing psychosocial needs of residents are some of the noteworthy measures that the southern Indian state is adopting to tackle the crisis.
On the tourism front, Kerala is utilising this relatively restricted travel period to support local tourism groups and raise awareness about their indigenous offerings.
Ayurveda is seen as a key factor in Kerala’s tourism revival
Ayurveda is seen as a key factor in Kerala’s tourism revival, considering the increased importance of healing and wellness in the pandemic. For a holistic wellness sojourn in Kerala, we recommend Beach and Lake Ayurvedic Resort in Thiruvananthapuram; Somatheeram Ayurveda Village and Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra, Kovalam among others.
Eco-tourism and adventure tourism are also set to be promoted extensively. Beyond the serene beaches, picturesque backwaters, scrumptious culinary selection and illustrious culture, Kerala boasts locations that are drenched in nature and replete with adrenaline-pumping activities.
Few eco-tourism sites that you must add to the itinerary for your next trip to Kerala include Silent Valley National Park; Parambikulam Tiger Reserve; Shendurney; Nilambur – Nedumkayam and Chembra Peak. Adventure junkies can try out river rafting at Bhoothathankettu, Ernakulam; surfing in Kovalam; and paragliding in Vagamon hill station.
Realising the importance of a collective approach in this reopening phase, Kerala has announced that it will work in tandem with tourism boards of other states to boost domestic travel. Plans are afoot to prepare itineraries that include destinations in the neighbouring states as well.
The state tourism board has also assured full support to the unified guidelines and protocols issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, stating that “these would serve as a road map for the states to revitalise domestic tourism and reinstate India’s position as a high value destination”.
Furthermore, the tropical paradise will make its presence felt on the Incredible India (the country’s official tourism campaign) digital platform by providing distinct and relevant content.
Kerala government’s Chief Minister’s Tourism Loan Assistance Scheme (CMTLAS) is expected to provide major respite to the travel and tourism stakeholders in the region. The schemes rolled out to support local travel groups and communities include:
TOURISM WORKING CAPITAL SUPPORT SCHEME: Tourism entrepreneurs/ establishments can apply for working capital loan up to Rs.25,00,000 at a rate of interest as per the approved policy of respective banks. TOURISM EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT SCHEME (TESS): Employees engaged in the travel and the tourism sector can apply for short-term personal loans up to Rs.30,000 from Kerala Bank (Kerala State Co-operative Bank) at an interest rate of nine per cent.
TOURISM HOUSEBOATS SUPPORT SCHEME (THSS): One-time financial assistance up to Rs.1,20,000 to the houseboat owners for maintenance of houseboats. TOURISM GUIDES SUPPORT SCHEME (TGSS): One-time financial assistance of Rs.10,000 to licensed tourist guides -approved by Kerala Tourism and India Tourism – working in the state’s tourism sector.
WHERE TO STAY
COCONUT LAGOON, KUMARAKOM
Located on Vembanad Lake, this CGH Earth resort is accessible by boat. Each accommodation at Coconut Lagoon has its own distinct charm and is characterised by traditional and nature-inspired elements. Their dining facility features Vembanad Grill to enjoy fresh catch of the day; Ettukettu serving a variety of cuisines along with a rustic environment and Aymanam, the lakeside restaurant for a delectable Kerala feast. Experiences that you can enjoy during your stay here include bird watching; canoe riding and traditional art forms, cghearth.com
THE MALABAR HOUSE, KOCHI
A Relais & Chateaux property, The Malabar House is an ideal pick for those looking for a heritage stay experience in the vibrant city of Kochi.
The rooms and suites adorn stunning colour schemes and striking artworks. While Malabar Junction offers innovative Kerala and Mediterranean cuisine, Divine, the wine lounge creates the perfect atmosphere to unwind with drinks. Exploring Fort Cochin and de-stressing with Ayurveda treatments are a few leisure offerings to enjoy. relaischateaux.com
THE RAVIZ KOVALAM
The Raviz Kovalam boasts being India’s only clifftop beach resort. All accommodation categories like Duplex suite, Club suite, Presidential suite, Club room, Beach View Superior and Garden View rooms have Kerala-style interiors complemented by state-of-the-art amenities. The F&B outlets include The Terrace, a multi-cuisine restaurant; The Tides for seafood; The Sky Bar for drinks and tapas with gorgeous sunsets; and The Bar for nibbles, cocktails, classic single malts and bourbons. The resort houses some interesting indoor and outdoor venues for corporate affairs and wedding celebrations. theravizkovalam.com
TAJ BEKAL RESORT & SPA, KERALA
The villas and rooms at this Taj resort resemble the Ketuvallam houseboats. The luxurious abodes open to stellar views of the sea, swaying palms, lush greenery and the backwaters. Enjoy coastal delicacies at By The Bay; local Keralite dishes at Backwater Cafe; Barbeque at Grills N More; and premium spirits at Ivory Bar. tajhotels.com
PORT MUZIRIS, A TRIBUTE PORTFOLIO HOTEL, KOCHI
This Marriott property is located in Nedumbassery, directly across from Cochin International Airport. The rooms aesthetically blend local and contemporary design. Savour local food at Lilas Kitchen and head to The Kettle for a fine selection of drinks and quick bites. Owing to its strategic location, the hotel is well suited for business meets and events, marriott.com