Kumbalangi is a scenic village located in the Ernakulam district of Kerala, India. It gained popularity as a model tourism village due to its unique approach to sustainable tourism and community development. The village has successfully transformed itself into an eco-friendly destination, focusing on responsible tourism practices and preserving its natural and cultural heritage.
The Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village Project was initiated by the Government of Kerala and the Department of Tourism. The project aimed to showcase the village as a sustainable tourism model by promoting community-based tourism activities and creating opportunities for the local population.
One of the key features of the Kumbalangi tourism village is its emphasis on eco-friendly practices. The village has implemented waste management systems, organic farming methods, and renewable energy initiatives. Visitors can witness these sustainable practices and learn about environmental conservation.
To enhance the tourist experience, the village offers various activities and attractions. Visitors can engage in activities such as fishing, crab farming, canoeing, and exploring the mangrove forests. These experiences allow tourists to interact with the local community and gain insights into their traditional way of life.
Additionally, the village offers homestay accommodations, allowing tourists to stay with local families and experience the warmth and hospitality of the people. The homestays provide a unique cultural immersion opportunity, where visitors can learn about the local customs, cuisine, and traditional arts and crafts.
Kumbalangi also hosts cultural events and performances, where visitors can witness traditional dance forms, music, and other art forms that are deeply rooted in Kerala’s culture. The village is known for its vibrant festivals, including the popular Snake Boat Race, which attracts a large number of tourists every year.
Overall, the Kumbalangi Model Tourism Village stands as a testament to the possibilities of sustainable tourism and community development. It offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and responsible tourism practices, making it an ideal destination for those seeking an authentic and environmentally conscious travel experience in Kerala.
In its unending journey of updating and enhancing itself with the latest trends, Kumbalangi Model Tourism Village joined the League of Responsible Tourism Movement.
As part of the effort, the first seminar on Responsible Tourism was held at the Panchayat Hall on October 31, 2012. It was conducted by the Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS), Village Panchayat, and the Kumbalangi Model Tourism Development Society (KMTDS).
The Kumbalangi Panchayat was selected along with other tourism destinations like Kovalam, Kumarakom, Vythiri, Bekal, Thekkady, and Ambalavayal to implement the Responsible Tourism initiative. Kumbalangi also has the distinction of being the first-ever model tourism village in the country and was later associated with neighboring panchayats of Kumbalam and Chellanam to take up sustainable agri-tourism village projects.
According to this initiative, Kumarakom has successfully attempted in creating Responsible Tourism groups and started engaging them in organic farming and poultry. The products obtained from such groups were supplied to tourist projects like hotels and resorts in the village. “We are working on a similar model where residents of Kumbalangi can be encouraged to form groups and engage in organic farming. However, the village does not have enough market for tourism, unlike Kumarakom.
So we are thinking along the lines of entering into agreements with hotels and home stays in Fort Kochi and Mattanchery tourism belt,” said M P Sivadathan, President, KMTDS.homestays