Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Tourism will soon roll out five new tourism products in a bid to increase footfall and “refresh” the Kerala Tourism brand to make ‘God’s Own Country’ “more appealing, exciting and desirable” to all traveller segments, The Hindu reports.

Eco-adventure tourism, Kochi Muziris Biennale, Muziris Heritage — the ongoing largest conservation project in the country, Spice Route and showcasing Malabar and its untapped tourism, heritage and culture aspects are the new tourism products on the anvil.

Intense competition from neighbouring States and adjoining Sri Lanka, negative growth of the tourism industry that accounts for 10 per cent of the State’s income, crisis in traditional source markets, air and rail connectivity issues, garbage and liquor policy have led to the lookout for new tourism products and vision.

Eco-adventure tourism is aimed at making Kerala the main centre of environment-oriented tourism activities. Eco-adventure tour packages to attract young holidayers and packages focussed on the hills and forests of the Western Ghats will be part of the scheme.

Kochi Muziris Biennale will be the focus of the marketing campaign in Europe. Besides finding a place in the international culture circuit, a permanent art gallery and steps to attract foreign tourists have been mooted.

The Muziris Heritage that has the potential to come up as an international tourism product needs tour packages to attract the holidayers. More hotels and resorts had been proposed.

In the case of Spice Route, which is being developed with the help of UNESCO and UNWTO, more tourism products are needed. The two millennia-old route from Kerala to the West is being revived with the help of others.

Malabar, hitherto untapped for tourism, is being focussed in view of the likely footfall once the greenfield international airport in Kannur is commissioned. The North Malabar Historical Route and the Intangible Cultural Heritage Route centered around Nila has already been identified.

Principal Secretary, Tourism, V. Venu told that a working paper is being readied for eco-adventure tourism and soon the Ministers of Tourism and Forest will meet to discuss the way forward.

The tourism products, vision and the way forward were presented recently to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan by Mr. Venu and Director of Tourism U.V. Jose.

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