The Aymanam Model Responsible Tourism Village Project in Kottayam district of Kerala has received global recognition at the ongoing World Travel Market (WTM) travel exhibition in London. The project of the Kerala Responsible Tourism Mission has bagged the award in the High Speed Diversification category at the global event.
The project won the WTM recognition 14 months after Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, declared Aymanam as a model responsible tourism village. The award comes after the village fully implemented the Responsible Tourism Mission’s guidelines focusing on ecological conservation of tourist spots besides promotion of culture in a way that helps local populace earn income.
The WTM award will further enable Kerala to revive its tourism after a lull following the outbreak of Covid-19 in March last year, said State Tourism Minister, PA Mohamed Riyas. “We look forward to getting the travel industry back on track at the earliest,” he said. “The WTM award can help us retain the international appeal Kerala has on the tourist map.”
Venu V, Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism), noted that responsible tourism seeks to strengthen local development with people’s participation. “The government is planning to implement the project in other villages of the state, thereby serving responsible tourism models to the rest of the state,” he added.
Besides Aymanam, the State Responsible Tourism Mission is carrying out the model village projects in Neendoor, Arpookara, Ezhumanthuruth and Thiruvarpu panchayats in Kottayam district.