A project to keep prime tourism destinations across the state free of plastic and garbage, piloted by the Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission, together with stakeholders in tourism sector, was launched in Thiruvananthapuram.
Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran flagged off the ‘Clean Kerala Initiative’, aimed to promote good practices like ‘Green Code of Conduct’, along with a two-day workshop organized jointly by RT Mission, Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) and local self-government institutions.
“RT Mission is not just a propaganda tool of the government but an integral component of the tourism policy,” the minister said.
Nine destinations, including Kovalam, Munnar, Alappuzha, Kumarakom, Wayanad, Fort Kochi, Kollam, Thekkady, and Bakel have been identified for the implementation of the new project in the first phase from a list of 21 destinations. The project will take these tourist centres to ‘Green Certification’ platform through eco-friendly and responsible tourism activities.
“The government’s tourism policy is to give priority to the interests of people and due consideration to environment. One can’t ignore the tremendous impact created by RT Mission in achieving these goals,” the minister pointed out.
The minister said there are around 15,515 RT units under the mission. “The government targets to create around 50,000 more units in the next phase,” he said.
Surendran also urged the industry to show more willingness to join the RT Mission Initiative, ‘to attract tourists with beautiful and hygienic destinations’. “Local bodies too have a vital role to play in effective implementation of the project,” he said.
Tourism secretary Rani George, who presided over the function, said Kumarakom was leading in implementation of RT initiative, “while Alappuzha has fulfilled its vision to an extent.”