Tourism authorities yet to explore ways to promote ecotourism destinations in Kozhikode

Public-Private Partnership ventures are likely to support the speedy completion of various innovative projects at leading eco tourism spots in Kozhikode district.
| Photo Credit: K Ragesh

Even as prominent ecotourism destinations in Kozhikode offer visitors a feast for the eyes during the monsoon season, the district is yet to witness promotional activities by the Tourism department or the District Tourism Promotion Council. On the other hand, private tourism entrepreneurs are benefiting from the season by offering visitors reduced tariffs for accommodation and recreational activities.

Monsoon tourism packages such as rain walks and guided trips have not been announced for tourists here despite their popularity in ecotourism destinations outside the State. While many destinations in the upland areas remain safe for sightseers who adhere to safety guidelines, the usual trend during the season is to discourage exploration of the spots.

“There are accident-prone areas in ecotourism spots such as Thusharagiri, Arippara, Vayalada, Kariyathumpara, Kakkayam and Kakkadampoyil, However, these spots offer breathtaking view and experience for responsible tourists. With proper guidance, tourists can safely explore the areas,” said P. Vinod, a tourism entrepreneur from Kuttiyadi. Rural entrepreneurs in farm stay business pointed out that government departments had not yet explored possibilities of social media promotion campaigns to attract tourists.

Pramod Manayil, an entrepreneur in the sector, said the support of popular vloggers and social media experts would make a difference.

Homestay entrepreneurs in Vayalada and Kakkayam regions said efforts should be made to discourage unsafe trekking activities by ‘intoxicated persons’ to ecotourism destinations. They added that accidents caused by such groups tarnished the reputation of the destinations.

“Recurring incidents of drowning in Arippara and Kariyathumpara have already projected them as hazardous destinations. However, the reality is different for visitors who adhere to basic safety norms and respect the warnings,” said A.J. Wilson , a homestay entrepreneur near Kakkayam. Guided trips by tourism authorities during the monsoon would be a big opportunity for students and families to experience nature, he added.

According to Tourism department sources, unfavourable weather conditions have been affecting the field-level promotional activities in the State for more than three years. “Despite the challenges, we have been keen to support international water sports events like Malabar River festival for kayakers here to promote our ecotourism projects,” they added.

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