Kerala Tourism Policy


CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – THE PERSPECTIVE PLAN IN BRIEF E-1
Part One: TOURIST ATTRACTIONS & TOURIST PROFILE
I. TOURISM PLANNING – CONTEXT & APPROACH I-1
Need for tourism planning I-1
Objectives of tourism development I-1
Planning - a continuous process with built-in flexibility I-2
Planning horizon I-2
Structure of the Plan Document I-2
II. KERALA’S TOURISM ASSETS – A BRIEF DISTRICT-WISE ANALYSIS II-1
Tourist attractions – foundation for developing tourism II-1
Kerala’s tourism assets – categorisation II-1
Imbalance between geographical spread of tourism assets and
tourism development II-2
Districtwise listing of principal tourism assets II-3
Exhibit 2.1: Map – Districts, district headquarters and elevation contours II-17
Exhibit 2.2: Map – Centres with important museums & monuments II-18
Exhibit 2.3: Map – Selected centres of religious/pilgrimage tourism II-19
Exhibit 2.4: Map – Important hills & hill stations II-20
Exhibit 2.5: Map – Wildlife sanctuaries & national parks II-21
Exhibit 2.6: Map – Selected backwater tourist centres II-22
Exhibit 2.7: Map – Principal beach destinations II-23
III. TOURIST STATISTICS - ANALYSIS & PROJECTIONS III-1
Analysis of Tourist Statistics III-1
Tourist Traffic Projection III-3
Kerala’s tourist carrying capacity & need for dispersal of tourist inflows III-5
Exhibit 3.1: Trends in domestic & foreign tourist arrivals into Kerala (1986 to 2001) III-6
Exhibit 3.2: Average month-wise arrival pattern of domestic and foreign tourists into Kerala III-7
Exhibit 3.3: Trends in seasonality of domestic and foreign tourist arrivals into Kerala (1987 to 2001) III-8
Exhibit 3.4: District-wise and centre-wise tourist arrivals to Kerala (2000) III-9
Exhibit 3.5: Most popular tourist destinations in Kerala among domestic & foreign tourists III-10
Exhibit 3.6: Important countries and regions of origin for foreign tourist arrivals into Kerala (Average for the years 1998 to 2000) III-11
Exhibit 3.7: Changing patterns in foreign tourist arrivals into Kerala from the traditional markets of Europe, North America, Japan & Australia
(Trends over the period 1987 to 2000) III-12
Exhibit 3.8: Foreign tourist arrivals into Kerala – by mode of arrival (%) III-13
Exhibit 3.9: Yearwise moderated tourist traffic projections (2002-03 to 2021-22) III-14
Exhibit 3.10: Carrying capacity – measurement criteria & capacity norms III-15
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CONTENTS (Contd…)

Part Two: TOURISM VISION, PLAN & PROJECTS
IV. TOURISM POLICY & INCENTIVE SCHEMES IV-1
Policy considerations & guidelines IV-1
The State’s Role in Tourism Development IV-2
Kerala’s Tourism Policy IV-2
Incentive Schemes for tourism projects IV-3
District Tourism Promotion Councils IV-3
Exhibit 4.1: Schemes and incentives offered by Kerala’s tourism department IV-5
Exhibit 4.2: State investment subsidy for tourism projects IV-6
Exhibit 4.3: Tourist centres listed in the Destination Kerala scheme of Kerala’s tourism department IV-7
Exhibit 4.4: Electricity tariff subsidy for specified tourism projects IV-8
V. KERALA’S TOURISM VISION 2025 – A SYNOPSIS V-1
Vision V-1
Vision Targets V-1
SWOT Analysis V-1
Strategy V-2
Action Plan V-2
VI. KERALA’S FIVE YEAR PLAN OUTLAY FOR THE TOURISM
SECTOR VI-1
Large outlays towards tourism & general infrastructure VI-1
Sectoral and regional distribution of proposed outlays VI-1
Exhibit 6.1: Kerala’s ninth plan outlay for the tourism sector
- A Summary VI-2
Exhibit 6.2: Kerala’s tenth plan outlay for the tourism sector
(Draft - 2002-03 to 2006-07) VI-3
VII. TOURISM PROJECTS – RECENTLY COMPLETED, ONGOING & PROPOSED VII-1
Exhibit 7.1: Status of Kerala government’s tourism development projects VII-2
Exhibit 7.2: Important projects implemented/being implemented with central government assistance VII-5
Exhibit 7.3: Tourism projects for Ernakulam district VII-6
Exhibit 7.4: Tourism projects for Thrissur district VII-8
Exhibit 7.5: Master plan to develop Neyyar dam VII-9
Exhibit 7.6: Tourism, entertainment and real estate projects for which expressions of interest have been invited in the context of the Global Investors’ Meet VII-10

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CONTENTS (Contd…)

Part Three: TOURIST ACCOMMODATION, TRANSPORTATION & OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE
VIII. TOURIST ACCOMMODATION – HOTELS & RESORTS VIII-1
Types of Tourist Accommodation VIII-1
Mismatch between available tourist accommodation and
estimated total tourist nights in Kerala VIII-2
Accommodation projections and land area requirements VIII-2
Role of State tourism properties & their privatisation VIII-4
Exhibit 8.1: Details of accommodation facility in classified hotels in Kerala
(1999 & 2000) VIII-5
Exhibit 8.2: Number of hotel beds & hotels in Kerala – by districts and categories (1999) VIII-6
Exhibit 8.3: Grihasthali: Scheme for conservation of architectural heritage
by converting homesteads to provide tourist accommodation VIII-7
Exhibit 8.4: Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Ltd’s tourist accommodation properties VIII-8
Exhibit 8.5: Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Ltd’s performance highlights (1999-2000 & 2000-01) VIII-9
IX. TRANSPORTATION & OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE IX-1
Need for exclusive/complementary infrastructure for tourism
development IX-1
Destination travel costs IX-1
Kerala’s infrastructure vision IX-2
Transportation facilities and services IX-2
Other infrastructure – considerations in tourism planning IX-3
Exhibit 9.1: Infrastructure vision for Kerala – A synopsis IX-5
Exhibit 9.2: Length of roads in Kerala (as on 1.4.2001) IX-7
Exhibit 9.3: National highways in Kerala IX-7
Exhibit 9.4: Map – National highways IX-8
Exhibit 9.5: Map – Railway network IX-9
Exhibit 9.6: Kerala's air connectivity through scheduled passenger flights IX-10
Exhibit 9.7: Passenger traffic in Kerala’s airports (1999-2000 & 2000-01) IX-11
Exhibit 9.8: Kerala’s urban policy & action plan – selected highlights IX-12
Exhibit 9.9: List of municipalities, corporations & urban development authorities in Kerala IX-13
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CONTENTS (Contd…)

Part Four: EMPLOYMENT, ECONOMIC & SOCIAL IMPACTS &
REGIONAL PRIORITIES
X. ECONOMIC, SOCIAL & ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF
TOURISM X-1
Income from direct tourist expenditures X-1
Earnings from foreign tourists X-2
Tourism’s contribution to net state domestic product X-2
Tourism satellite account – tool for measuring economic impact
of tourism X-2
Employment generation X-3
Kerala Government’s initiatives to contain negative impact of tourism X-5
Tourism – A double edged sword X-5
Negative impacts of tourism – need for early recognition & timely remedial action X-6
Environmental Impact Assessment X-8
Exhibit 10.1: Analysis of reported earnings from foreign tourists to Kerala X-9
Exhibit 10.2: A note of caution based on experiences in Goa and other tourist destinations in India X-10
Exhibit 10.3: Environmental Impact Assessment Matrix - A Checklist X-11
Exhibit 10.4: Specimen EIA summary for an amusement park X-12
Exhibit 10.5: Specimen EIA summary for boating & water based activities X-13
XI. REGIONAL PRIORITIES IN TOURISM PLANNING XI-1
Demographic issues XI-1
Economic parameters XI-1
Land utilization & environmental considerations XI-2
Exhibit 11.1: District-wise highlights of selected population data for Kerala
(2001 Census) XI-3
Exhibit 11.2: Urban centres in Kerala with 50,000+ population
(2001 Census) XI-4
Exhibit 11.3: Sectoral distribution of Kerala’s net state domestic product at constant prices (1993-94 to 1999-2000) XI-5
Exhibit 11.4: District wise sectoral distribution of Kerala’s net state domestic product at constant prices XI-6
Exhibit 11.5: District-wise per capita income at constant prices
(1997-98 to 1999-2000) XI-7
Exhibit 11.6: District wise industrial employment XI-8
Exhibit 11.7: District wise work seekers as percentage of total population XI-9
Exhibit 11.8: District-wise land utilisation pattern in Kerala XI-10
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CONTENTS (Contd…)

Part Five: TOURISM PRODUCTS
XII. CULTURAL & HERITAGE TOURISM – EXPLORING THE PAST & PRESENT XII-1
Cultural attractions in Kerala XII-1
Heritage & cultural tourism in urban areas XII-1
Cultural festivals, performing arts, martial arts, fine arts,
handicrafts & cuisine XII-2
Religious tourism – ringing the prayer bells XII-3
Exhibit 12.1: Rural tourism – a holistic and unique concept in culture & life style tourism XII-4
Exhibit 12.2: Heritage village – a theme destination providing a slice of local
life style and traditions XII-5
Exhibit 12.3: Business tourism - Attracting the ‘MICE’ on a cultural plank XII-7
Exhibit 12.4: Sabarimala – Devaswom Board’s Master Plan to ease capacity constraints XII-8
XIII. HILL STATION TOURISM – GOING HIGH ON SCENIC BEAUTY XIII-1
Eco-tourism – a model for ensuring sustainable tourism XIII-1
Sustainable tourism in hill stations and hilly areas XIII-2
Opportunities for further development of tourism in hill stations and hilly areas XIII-3
Exhibit 13.1: Thenmala eco-tourism project XIII-4
Exhibit 13.2: Proposed forest based eco-tourism pilot projects XIII-6
Exhibit 13.3: Potential eco-tourism destinations in Kerala XIII-7
XIV. FOREST & WILDLIFE TOURISM – FEELING WILD IN THE JUNGLES XIV-1
Forest department’s concerns about tourism development in
protected areas XIV-1
Approach to sustainable tourism development in forest areas XIV-2
Exhibit 14.1: List of sanctuaries & national parks in Kerala XIV-4
Exhibit 14.2: Profile of sanctuaries & national parks in Kerala XIV-5
Exhibit 14.3: National wildlife action plan on tourism XIV-17

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CONTENTS (Contd…)

XV. WATER TRANSPORT TOURISM – CRUISING THE PLACID BACKWATERS XV-1
Backwaters – nature’s gift to God’s own Country XV-1
Backwaters tourism – status and developments XV-1
Need for sustainable development of backwater areas XV-3
Integrated development project for the backwater region XV-3
Cruise ship tourism XV-4
Exhibit 15.1: Inland water spread area in Kerala XV-5
Exhibit 15.2: District-wise distribution of coastline in Kerala XV-5
Exhibit 15.3: List of places in Kerala categorised under CRZ-I and CRZ-II XV-6
Exhibit 15.4: Important elements of CRZ regulations that would influence tourism-related developments in Kerala XV-7
Exhibit 15.5: Kerala government’s scheme for approval/classification of house boats operated in the backwaters – A Summary XV-8
XVI. BEACH TOURISM – SOAKING IN THE SUN, SAND AND SURF XVI-1
Selection of potential beach tourism destinations XVI-1
Need for and scope of development regulations XVI-2
Carrying Capacity Standard XVI-2
Regulatory framework for beach resorts XVI-3
Potential beach destinations in Kerala XVI-3
XVII. HEALTH TOURISM – AYURVEDIC REJUVENATION XVII-1
Advantages enjoyed by Kerala in offering ayurveda as a tourism product XVII-1
Competition and need for distinctive positioning of Kerala’s product XVII-1
Need for precaution in administering ayurvedic rejuvenation
packages XVII-2
Commercialisation and distortion of traditional ayurveda XVII-3
Strengthening of Kerala’s position as the home of ayurveda XVII-4
Exhibit 17.1: Aurvedic health holiday programmes XVII-5
Exhibit 17.2: District-wise distribution of approved ayurveda centres XVII-7
Exhibit 17.3: Kerala Government’s scheme for classification of ayurveda centres – A summary XVII-8





Tourism planning - a flexible approach
End state master plans with meticulous spatial planning and numerous and well- defined project proposals (the implementation or otherwise of which would largely depend on private sector initiatives) are often found to be too rigid and infeasible to implement in the long term, particularly in the context of large regions. This Perspective Plan Document therefore takes the view that planning is a continuous process that must provide for flexibility depending on changing situations, while still achieving the basic development objectives.
Incremental planning can be done successively from the general to the more specific levels, during the course of implementation, based on continuous monitoring of previous development and evaluation of new trends. Accordingly, this Document sets out a framework of broad objectives and targets, outlines the approach that may be necessary to achieve the same, and also raises issues that may have to be addressed as one goes along.
Kerala’s commendable achievements in tourism & plans for the future
Kerala has made admirable progress in tourism development in recent years. God’s own Country has become a well recognised tourism brand and the State has achieved impressive growth in foreign tourist arrivals in particular.
The State’s Tourism Vision 2025 envisages sustainable development of tourism with focus on backwaters, ayurveda and eco-tourism. Also, a fairly detailed road map has been set out by way of:
• A large Tenth Five Year Plan outlay for tourism (over Rs.900 crores), including Rs.500 crores for general infrastructure such as connecting roads, water supply, solid waste disposal, etc., for tourist centers.
• Formulation and implementation of numerous tourism projects – big and small, through diverse funding mechanisms. Among the largest and most prestigious project proposals are a beach destination at Bekal, a hill station development at Wagamon and integrated development of backwaters.
• Aggressive target of attracting substantial investments in the tourism sector through the Global Investors Meet.
• Proactive measures in tourism legislation, certification/grading of tourism products, incentive schemes for tourism projects and most importantly, effective marketing of the State as a tourism destination.


Tourism products and current tourist traffic pattern
Kerala’s principal tourism products fall into six categories: (1) heritage/ cultural/religious sites & events, (2) backwaters, (3) beaches, (4) hill stations, (5) wild life sanctuaries and (6) ayurveda, with the common cord of green environs harmonising them all together to form a Green Symphony.
Currently, Kerala attracts 5 million domestic tourists and 0.2 million foreign tourists per annum. Destination-wise tourist statistics suggest the following pattern of interest (by percentage) among the tourists across the various tourism products:

Tourism product category Domestic
tourists Foreign
tourists
1. Heritage, culture & religion 65 40
2. Backwaters 15 20
3. Beaches 8 25
4. Hills & hill stations 7 5
5. Forests & wildlife 5 10
Note: It has not been possible to distinguish the share of ayurveda from the destination-wise tourist data. Indications are that about 5 % of foreign tourists and a very small percentage of domestic tourists opts for the ayurveda experience.

Even after completely ignoring Sabarimala (which alone attracts about 17 million pilgrims per annum), temple/pilgrimage tourism (Guruvayoor, Thiruvananthapuram, etc.) contributes to a dominating share of the domestic tourist traffic. The common practice is to combine pilgrimage with pleasure. Even among foreign tourists, heritage sites, cultural events, palaces and museums (in and around Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram in particular) form the principal attractions, followed by the Kovalam beach, various backwater tourist spots and the Periyar Tiger Reserve at Thekkady.

Realistic targets for sustainable long term growth in tourism
Kerala’s Tourism Vision 2025 envisages a growth rate of 7 % per annum in foreign tourist arrivals and 9 % annual growth in domestic tourist arrivals. But if tourist arrivals actually grow at the proposed rates, it is most likely to result in a difficult situation (more so during the peak tourist season) mainly due to imbalances in general infrastructure. (In fact, at the proposed growth rates, by the year 2021-22, the number of tourists would become comparable to the entire State’s population.)
The prime constraint is that a faster growth in tourism would require extra investments for augmenting infrastructure to match the needs of the peak tourist traffic. The net returns from tourism may not be able to financially justify this.


Also, tourism would tend to go through ups and downs, depending on competitive developments within the tourism sector and also under the influence of external factors. Achieving consistently high growth rates in tourist arrivals would therefore not be possible without pitching oneself as a low-cost value-for- money destination. This option is usually chosen under duress, where the economy is heavily dependent on tourism. High growth rate in tourism is also often accompanied by considerable adverse socio-cultural impact on the host society.
Consequently, growth rates of the magnitude envisaged are neither sustainable nor desirable in the long run. Average annual growth rates of 3.5 % have been achieved in recent years in both domestic and foreign tourist arrivals to Kerala. The base of foreign tourist arrivals being small, it would be realistic to target and plan for a long-term growth rate of 5 % per annum, while domestic tourist arrivals could continue to grow at an average rate of 3.5 % per annum. These growth rates would result in an inflow of 0.55 million foreign tourists and 10.4 million domestic tourists by the year 2021-22.
One could of course expect a higher growth rate in terms of tourist spending in real terms, if the basket of tourism products can be reinforced. Increasing the duration of stay is however not a practical solution, because the total carrying capacity would get over-stretched.

Planning for general infrastructure to support tourism growth
The primary requirement for achieving any growth target is to carry forward the following three elements harmoniously in parallel: (1) having the requisite tourism products in place, (2) strengthening the necessary supporting general infrastructure, and (3) concentrated marketing to the appropriate target segments.
While all the elements are equally important, it is usually the supporting infrastructure and facilities that becomes the main bottleneck in developing countries. Small island economies and such others that are overwhelmingly dependent on tourism, are able to financially justify necessary investments purely on the strength of returns from tourism. This is often not the case with most places in India, including Kerala.
Roads, air transport links, water supply, sanitation, power supply, etc., can be upgraded on a significant scale based only on multi-use justification, driven by complex priorities of the local economy, in the context of fund constraints.
For example, Kerala’s Tenth Five Year Plan budget proposals contemplate an expenditure of Rs.500 crores on general infrastructure under the tourism budget, over riding the usual evaluation procedures and priorities. This is excellent as a short term strategy to ease specific bottlenecks, but may not be justifiable in the long run.


That tourism brings in high returns with low investments is true only in situations where excellent roads, beautifully landscaped urban environs, reliable power & water supply, sanitation and solid waste disposal systems, etc., are already in place on the strength of the general economy. This emphasizes the need for a clear and objective analysis of tourism benefits without overlooking any costs.
Of late, substantive progress is being made in India towards implementing projects for roads and various civic amenities along commercial lines, with private-public partnership. Given this background, any investments in general infrastructure required primarily for tourism development, will have to be structured in a manner that does not unduly cut into the government’s funds that would otherwise have been spent for development works in more backward and deserving areas of the State.
Optimal approach to augmenting Kerala’s tourist carrying capacity
The aggregate tourist carrying capacity of Kerala would to a substantial measure be a function of the extent of concentration of tourist traffic at the principal tourist nodes. The concentration at these nodes is in turn a function of the concentration of tourist attractions in the surrounding areas.
Without doubt, the major transit points of Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi already face various constraints. They can take on rapid growth only at the expense of damage to the quality of tourist experience or alternatively, at unviably high expenditure in augmenting infrastructure. Therefore, the desired growth in tourist traffic to Kerala can be handled smoothly, provided there is significant dispersal of traffic to other transit points and tourist destinations of the State, especially in the northern districts. Additional investments made in other less developed parts of the State, are also more justifiable even from the multi-use point of view.
There is quite clearly an imbalance between geographical spread of tourism assets and tourism development. While all varieties of tourism assets are spread out fairly uniformly across different parts of the State, the more popular tourism destinations are concentrated in the southern and central regions. North Kerala receives less than 5 % of total foreign tourist arrivals to the State. It evidently has a low share of up-market domestic tourists as well, as compared to other regions of the State.
Kerala’s Tenth Five Year Plan proposals for tourism suggest the following broad pattern of allocation of funds across different regions of the State:

1. Southern Kerala
(Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta & Alappuzha districts) 40 %
2. Central Kerala
(Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur & Palakkad districts) 45 %
3. Northern Kerala
(Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts) 15 %
Clearly, dispersal of tourist traffic away from the nodes of traditionally high concentration would require apportioning a larger share of developmental funds to north Kerala.


The carrying capacity can be increased to some extent without additional investment, if the tourist season can be extended. The arrival of foreign tourists in particular is highly seasonal (October to March) and is influenced by the all- India tourist arrival pattern, as many foreign tourists combine their visit to Kerala with other states in India, including those in the up north. However, domestic tourist arrival shows a more balanced pattern and is sustained by offering attractive off-season packages during the monsoons.
Tourist traffic in the lean season could be boosted through a ‘monsoon magic’ package catering to tourists from the Gulf. Other innovative products aimed at both foreign and high-end domestic tourists can also help extend the tourist season.
Government’s long term role in tourism development
Tourism is largely a private sector activity. Given various demands placed on the government’s administrative and financial resources in the Indian context, the government should plan for progressively lower levels of direct investments in and operation of tourism products and services.
While the Kerala government already sees its role as primarily that of a catalyst and facilitator, a withdrawal plan would require strengthening of zoning & developmental guidelines, quality standards and administrative mechanisms so as to streamline planning, construction, operation and regulation of tourism projects. The role of local self governments in decision-making and other aspects will have to be clearly defined. DTPCs (District Tourism Promotion Councils) too would have to redefine their role and gradually move out of implementing and operating tourism projects.
However, active involvement of the government would still be required in the following areas:
Development of new destinations: An example is that of the proposed beach tourism project at Bekal. This is technically an excellent site, but there is hesitation on the part of the private sector to invest in a virgin area. If this situation continues, the government may have to seed further development by implementing and marketing one resort to start with. The government can eventually withdraw, once the destination picks up. This has already happened in one or two cases earlier, though not by design.
Regulating and providing access to land: Scarcity of land inhibits private sector investments in relatively land intensive tourism projects in Kerala. One option would be to document all the vacant land available with various government departments so as to create a land bank. Appropriate portions of land may be made available for tourism projects as the state’s contribution, thus unlocking the hidden value of the unutilized land.
Further, where appropriate, the government is also in a position to acquire land in a more equitable manner for designated tourism projects and contribute the same as government’s share.


The government may offload such investments from time to time or could arrange for getting a continuous stream of revenue by way of lease rentals for the land. Such revenues could support the government’s tourism budget.
Marketing: The private sector often confines itself to marketing individual properties and projects, while the government is left with the responsibility of marketing the State. This could change so that the private sector plays a lead role in the marketing of the State as well, possibly via a Tourism Promotion Board constituted in the joint sector. Nonetheless, the government would have to continue to coordinate marketing and promotional efforts and nurture an umbrella brand for the State.
Tourist accommodation
Tourist accommodation like hotels and resorts will have to increase in proportion to the tourist traffic. These investments will come almost entirely from private sector initiatives. At present, 50 % of hotel accommodation in Kerala is concentrated in Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram districts. A greater dispersal of tourist accommodation is desirable together with dispersal of tourist traffic. Constructions in local architectural style, tree top cottages, re-deployment of heritage homesteads as tourist accommodation, etc., may continue to be encouraged wherever applicable.
On an average, 850 tourist accommodation rooms would need to be added each year to meet the growth in demand over the next two decades. This would comprise of about 200 rooms in the classified hotels and around 650 in the unclassified ones. Total investment towards creating such additional tourist accommodation and allied facilities would be of the order of Rs. 100 crores per annum.

Transport and other infrastructure
There has been steady improvement in the road, rail and air connections to Kerala and also in the road and rail networks and inland water transport facility within the State. The World Bank supported Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) for upgrading 2810 km of roads and the project for four laning of NH-47 link to Kochi would substantially improve the condition of the road network in Kerala. With other improvements on the anvil, the overall situation would change dramatically for the better when we consider a long term 20 year horizon.
The oft-repeated constraint about lack of direct scheduled flights to Kerala from the principal sources of international tourist traffic would get eased to the extent that such flights become commercially viable. Moreover, as the vast majority of foreign tourists combine Kerala with other states too on their itinerary, this by itself may not be the immediate prime constraint.
Increasing the tourist inflow through charter flights is not seen as an attractive proposition as charter operators beat down prices to very low levels and bring in budget tourists on low-cost packages. This is no doubt true, but policies and actions may also have to be guided by prevailing circumstances.


Other elements of infrastructure at the macro level such as water supply, sanitation, electricity, drainage & sewage, solid waste disposal, etc., would have to be adequately upgraded in the towns and cities with tourist potential based on multi-use justification in order to avoid constraints. Appropriate facilities would also have to be provided at the micro level at the actual tourist spots.
Wherever applicable and feasible, alternatives such as rain water harvesting, usage of treated effluents for landscaping, utilizing salt water (in coastal areas) for toilet flushing, solar power for water heating, energy efficient building design and community operated sewage and solid waste disposal systems may be kept in mind for implementation.
Economic, social & environmental impacts of tourism
Tourism commands glamour and charisma. There is a common tendency to unwittingly over estimate economic benefits of tourism and ignore many of its costs. Employment multiplier effects of tourism and employment generation to investments ratios too are often over stated. Tourist surveys, tourism accounting models, etc., also come with their own baggage of unintended biases and limitations.
For example, in the case of Kerala, the actual availability of hotel/resort beds is less than one-fourth of what would be required to accommodate the reported tourist inflows for the estimated average duration of stay per tourist.
Planning done on the basis of unreliable data would tend to be faulty and can invite difficulties at a later stage. Therefore, care should be taken to adopt a robust tourism accounting methodology that reflects local realities. The normal pitfall of ignoring negative socio-cultural impacts of tourism should also be guarded against.
Also, Environment Impact assessment (EIA) should be insisted upon for all major tourism projects, so that any negative environmental impacts are analysed and minimized.
Kerala being an ecologically sensitive state, appropriate pollution control norms may be formulated at the state level in association with the State Pollution Control Board, so that all tourism projects of significant magnitude are brought under scrutiny. Implementation of these norms may be accompanied by a system of local level participation and/or public hearing for clearing projects that are above a certain scale. This will ensure that only projects appropriate to a given place are set up, thus addressing issues of economic, socio-cultural and ecological/environmental impacts at one go.
Regional priorities in tourism planning
Demographic and economic parameters indicate that land intensive developments are difficult to implement in the densely populated coastal areas. However, though tourism is in general a land intensive activity, Kerala is an example to show that backwaters and other water bodies can be put to advantageous use, thereby reducing pressure on land.


Low density resorts and other developments can take place primarily in the interior highlands.
Kozhikode and Kannur in particular can take on an increased role as important tourism nodes to divert part of the growth away from Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. This is also in keeping with charting out a more rapid pace of tourism growth in northern Kerala.
Other things remaining the same, the economically disadvantaged districts like Malappuram, Palakkad, Kannur and Pathanamthitta would deserve a better share of developmental activities.
Principal tourism products – future planning & projects
Kerala is far ahead of many other states in India in terms of planning & project implementation in tourism. The State is also a veritable treasure trove of tourism assets of diverse nature. There are at least 175 distinct tourist/pilgrim centres of varying degrees of importance and development potential across the State. Even to carry out selective improvements to these places on various fronts and to augment facilities and services would take well beyond the time horizon envisaged for the Perspective Plan. Also, given the innumerable project possibilities, specific projects would get identified and implemented from time to time in the private, public or joint sectors based on emergent factors.
It would therefore not be quite meaningful in the present context to categorically recommend individual projects and their phasing beyond a five-year time frame. This Plan Document therefore focuses on providing broad directions for long term development across the principal tourism product categories.
Though project types & variants, ideas & concepts, and possible project locations that emerged during the study are indicated for consideration, these are by no means exclusive or exhaustive, nor can they be claimed to be the most optimal.
Heritage & cultural tourism
Heritage & cultural tourism constitutes a dominant component among both domestic and foreign tourists visiting the State. Among the available assets, it is imperative to identify and focus upon those that are outstanding enough to attract and satisfy varied interests. Apart from developing Kochi as a heritage destination, there is perhaps scope for promoting a heritage circuit covering Kochi, Thrippunithura, Kodungalloor and Chennamangalam. Important museums may be developed to international standards with up-to-date interpretation systems and interactive audio visual facilities. Museum retailing is also a component that needs upgradation.
Possible models for tourism development that would draw strength from the local culture, arts and lifestyle of Kerala include rural tourism, development of a heritage village, and business tourism packages incorporating cultural performances, local cuisine, etc. Suitable elements of these models could be incorporated into various projects, or separate projects along these lines could also be considered at appropriate locations in the State.


Kerala has stricter entry regulations and dress codes for Hindu temples compared to other states in India. An issue that merits consideration of temple authorities is to relax the restrictions, at least selectively. Specified areas of important temples with exquisite sculpture, wood work, murals, temple museums, etc., can be considered to be thrown open to lay tourists during certain hours, with relaxed dress code, that does not compromise on basic decorum.
Both Christianity and Islam came to Kerala long before they were introduced in other parts of India. Some of the churches associated with St. Thomas and others that are in close proximity to each other and also heritage mosques could form part of travel circuits appealing to tourists with special interests.
The eco-tourism concept
Awareness and interest in the concept of eco-tourism in Kerala is quite encouraging. Some vibrant initiatives such as the Thenmala Eco-Tourism Project are already in place. Given Kerala’s diverse natural resources, the concept can be developed further to encompass a wide gamut of eco-tourism activities. Due consideration may also be given to development of eco-tourism at various places already identified for this purpose. The real test would be to see eco-tourism practiced in letter and spirit on a larger canvas right across the entire State.
Hill station tourism
Kerala’s best known hill station, Munnar, has faced considerable deterioration over the years, though it is quite serene and idyllic compared to many other much trodden hill stations in India. Tourism development is also having a negative impact on the local plantation based economy. One suggestion that emerges is that to the extent possible, tourism development may be encouraged in places where the plantation or other form of local economy is on the downslide due to extraneous reasons.
The focus of attention now is on the proposed large-scale hill station development at Wagamon in Idukki district, for which private participation is being scouted. Many other hilly areas in the State offer scope for various forms of tourism activities such as picnicking, trekking, rock climbing, etc., which need to be evaluated. Places like Ranipuram, Nelliampathy and Pythalmala could merit attention. With some developments already in place in parts of Wayanad district, it would be appropriate to explore the possibility of attracting further investments to this region to achieve economies of clustering and integration of tourism activities, so that they can benefit from common access roads, transportation and other facilities.
Forest & wildlife tourism
Development of tourism in forest areas has often been a subject of considerable debate. Quite clearly, all new tourist facilities should be created outside the protected area boundaries. This would eliminate the prime cause for conflict. Also, operators of tourist facilities should be active participants in conservation and improvement activities, as they have a long term stake in the same.


The Tiger Trail (guided trekking programme for tourists) in the Periyar Tiger Reserve is projected as a model success story in eco-tourism in forest areas. Here, local people organize trekking along designated forest routes. It is said that poaching and other illegal activities have reduced in the area due to the presence of trekkers.
Further encouragement of appropriate forms of forest & wildlife based tourism could be considered in/adjoining Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary and the Parambikulam, Wayanad (Muthanga) and Aralam Wildlife Sanctuaries in particular, after due evaluation.
Nonetheless, tourism in forest areas is prone to be ecologically sensitive, and one has to tread with caution, with continuous monitoring of the costs and benefits. Further, forest and wildlife based tourism would have to be encouraged on a conservative level, and therefore cannot be expected to generate large scale employment and income generation.
Backwater tourism
While other forms of tourist attractions are found aplenty in different parts of India, the extensive backwaters are a distinct feature of Kerala, providing a unique opportunity for positioning as an exotic tourism product. The geographical expanse of the backwaters also makes it convenient and conducive to spread tourism activity across the State, thus dispersing accompanying economic benefits and mitigating the negative impacts.
At present, most backwater resorts and houseboats are at the high end of the price spectrum and consequently out of reach of the average tourist, both domestic and foreign. Just as hotel accommodation and other facilities are available at various price points, the same should eventually happen with backwater tourism facilities as well. But the numbers and quality of facilities would have to be regulated, keeping in view the local carrying capacity in different places of tourist concentration. (This issue is applicable to almost all forms of tourism and practically to the whole of India. A densely populated third world country presenting numerous problems and squalid environs to the tourist cannot expect to attract high-spending foreign tourists in bountiful numbers. Offerings at various price segments are necessary in each category to attract a viable number of tourists, without compromising on basic standards.)
One of the components of backwater tourism is the development of suitable islands in the backwaters to provide resort accommodation, recreation and other facilities. While progress has been made on developing Gundu and Pathiramanal islands, there are reportedly about 30 comparable islands in different parts of Kerala, some of them under private ownership. The development potential of some of these islands could be suitably capitalized upon in due course.
A part of the West Coast Canal has been declared as National Waterway No.3. Priorities for development, rehabilitation or deepening/widening of this waterway and other canals would have to be decided by evaluating the combined benefits through use for tourism, inland water transport and irrigation.


The Kerala Government has a proposal for comprehensive and integrated development of the backwaters across the entire state, which is likely to cost around Rs.3000 crores, and may need to be implemented with funding from international agencies. The backwaters have reportedly shrunk to about one-third their original extent over the last century, due to various developmental activities. The backwater areas are also subject to CRZ regulations. A systematic development plan as proposed is therefore quite in order, so as to ensure sustainable and eco-friendly development and utilisation of the backwaters.
Many of the principal tourist attractions in Kerala are close to the coast. Therefore, feasibility of organising coastal cruise ship tours can also be explored in due course, depending on suitability of port facilities and market potential. This project would have to be implemented with private sector/foreign investment.
Beach tourism
Beach destinations are commonly sold through charters. When the proposed resort at Bekal (referred to earlier above) is ultimately in place, charter flights (possibly through Kozhikode or Mangalore airports) may perhaps have to be the route to take to attract occupancy at least during the initial period.
Beaches and associated marine areas could offer a variety of options, as may be feasible, such as swimming, boating, wind & board surfing, water skiing, para sailing, snorkeling & scuba diving and sport fishing. A comparative graded evaluation of the potential beach areas in Kerala could be carried out and efforts could be focused on those that are appropriate for development. Many of the beaches in Kerala are small and scope for development is limited. Nonetheless, one of the beaches that perhaps merits serious evaluation is the Muzhappilangad beach in Kannur district, which stretches over a long length along the coast.
Ayurvedic tourism
With ayurvedic rejuvenation treatments becoming available widely in different parts of India and abroad, Kerala would have to strengthen its positioning as the ‘real’ destination for ayurveda, and clearly distinguish its product vis-à-vis those available at other places.
The other possible threat is that a semi-medical product is offered as a product of relaxation, often ignoring necessary conditions and precautions. Should there be a medical mishap, it could generate considerable negative publicity and create a set back. Medical check-ups to the requisite degree of detail may be specified clearly for each form of treatment. These should be insisted upon before providing treatment in the certified ayurvedic centers. The experts may also evaluate and consider the need for liability insurance and/or any other precautionary measures.
Distortion of traditional ayurveda and its commercialization is another issue of concern. One view is that once the novelty and uniqueness wears off, ayurvedic tourism in its present form may lose its prime position and may end up having to be offered as a mass product at reduced rates. The product can sustain itself in the long run against competition, provided it can attract repeat business and also


sustained business from new customers through word of mouth publicity. This can happen only if one avoids distortion of traditional ayurveda and its commercialization for quick gains.

Investments for tourism development
Kerala’s Tourism Vision 2025 views tourism to be basically a private sector activity, with the State playing the role of a catalyst and facilitator. An oft quoted norm is that the private sector would invest four times that invested by the government. Loans for private sector projects would be available from banks and financial institutions including KSIDC, KFC, Tourism Finance Corporation of India, etc.
Tourism infrastructure projects are proposed to be implemented hereafter, primarily through private investments. Though certain incentives and subsidies are being offered for tourism projects, in the long term, the policy is to phase out financial incentives and concessions and attract investments based on merits, by providing the necessary basic infrastructure and facilities. Further, even basic infrastructure projects are to be implemented with progressively increasing degree of financial participation by non-government entities.
As observed earlier, the Kerala Government has proposed an unprecedentedly large outlay of over Rs.900 crores towards tourism during the Tenth Plan period. More than half the envisaged expenditure (Rs.500 crores) is towards general infrastructure projects to be implemented through various line departments. Providing for expenditure on general infrastructure projects in tourist centres under the tourism budget helps these proposals to receive priority. However, this overriding of the normal process of prioritizing general infrastructure projects is justifiable, provided the infrastructure created has multiple use and tourism generates surpluses to finance developmental projects for more deserving areas. A related issue is as to whether such large outlay on general infrastructure under the tourism budget is sustainable in the long run.
There are also major basic infrastructure projects that would facilitate tourism, such as the integrated development of backwaters, Theerappadam project and the Kerala State Transport Project, that could draw upon finances from diverse sources including international funding agencies. The Central Government too would lend support on many projects.
Given the above factors, though there is little doubt that the overall investments would move upwards, it is difficult to concretize a long-term investment plan as to what would be the total cost configuration and how exactly this would be phased out and financed.
However, as the share of investments from the private sector and other sources would increase, the government’s expenditure on tourism should stabilize at the magnitude proposed for the Tenth Plan period, even during subsequent Plan Periods as well, without the need for a major increase.


Accordingly, a broad-based phased investment pattern for tourism development, categorized across major heads, is tentatively suggested below. This would have to be moderated and detailed out from time to time, based on changing circumstances.
Rs.crores

Item head Short Term
2002-07 ** Medium Term 2007-12 Long Term 2012-22
Total
a) Basic Infrastructure 500 500 1000 2000
b) Tourism Infrastructure (Product Development, Accommodation)
338
300
600
1238
c) Human Resources Development 10 20 40 70
d) Marketing, Publicity & Promotion 53 70 140 263
e) Others (Incentives & Subsidies) 10 10 20 40
GRAND TOTAL 911 900 1800 3611
** As per Kerala Government’s Tenth Plan proposals.
Inter-state co-operation in tourism development
Another aspect is one of competition across states and possible avenues for co- operation. Issues commonly raised are about common taxation laws, smooth inter-state movement of tourist vehicles, etc. But more importantly, since natural tourism assets like wildlife sanctuaries, the Western Ghats and coastlines are distributed contiguously across states, an integrated approach to planning and development of tourism by the concerned states is essential in the long term. As states in a given region are often competing for a slice of the same cake, planning with some element of co-operation and consultation across states would be to the long term benefit of all concerned. On the other hand, completely independent planning can result in pitching up direct competition with each other and/or creating conflicting situations that can only be to the disadvantage of all.




Need for tourism planning
Planning for tourism is a must. Many experiences in different parts of the world have shown that unplanned and haphazard growth of tourism can produce harmful results, with irreparable damage to the environment and socio-cultural values of a society.
There are finite limitations to tourism development, in terms of both physical and social carrying capacities of destinations. Tourism planning should aim at achieving sustainable development, so that the tourism resources are available for perpetual use.
Objectives of tourism development
1. The principal objective of developing tourism is economic development, with the following sub-objectives:
• Generating employment and income
• Earning foreign exchange
• Earning revenues for the government
• As a catalyst for development of other sectors, to the extent applicable
• Using tourism to pay for infrastructure development, where possible Other objectives are:
2. Achieving environmental and cultural objectives for which resources may not
be available otherwise.
3. Providing opportunities for recreation, relaxation and education to citizens away from their homes.
4. Nurturing a sense of pride and identity. Important qualifications to the above objectives are:
1. Minimise adverse socio-cultural and environmental impacts of tourism.
2. Disperse economic development, to the extent applicable and possible, to the less developed regions of the State.
3. Integrate with overall development objectives of the State, and promote balanced development, without creating over-dependence on tourism.
4. Safeguard the security and health of the host population and also those of the tourists.
The objectives of developing tourism are very important, because they are the basic determinants of tourism policy and plan.


Planning - a continuous process with built-in flexibility
The earlier approach of preparing an end-state ‘master plan’ for guiding and controlling future development patterns has been found to be too rigid. The end- state approach does not provide for responding to changing circumstances, and is therefore not feasible to implement over a long-term period.
This Plan Document therefore views planning as a continuous process that must provide for flexibility depending on changing situations, while still achieving the basic development objectives.
The flexibility approach implies that planning should be done incrementally, with continuous monitoring and feedback on previous development and evaluation of new trends, both of which may influence decision making on the next stage of development. This incremental planning can be done successively from the general to the more specific levels, during the course of implementation.
Planning horizon
Time horizon for this Plan Document is taken to be the 20-year period from 2002- 03 to 2021-22, coinciding with the 10th to the 13th Five-Year Plan periods.
Even though time periods are established for convenience of programming, they should be considered flexible. The overall planning objectives need not be discarded just because certain time targets set may not be met with.
The plan may be revised or rescheduled so as to maintain a balance between demand and supply, so that there is no wastage of resources, while still striving to meet the targets over the long term.
Structure of the Plan Document
This Plan Document has 21 chapters excluding the executive summary. Development objectives and planning approach are explained in this chapter (Chapter 1). The further chapters of this Document are organised as follows:
1. Brief district-wise listing of principal tourism assets; analysis and projections of tourist traffic (Chapters 2 & 3)
2. Outlining of Kerala government’s tourism vision, tourism projects and proposals (Chapters 4 to 7). These are largely taken on-board with observations, if any. No new projects are suggested at this stage, given the large numbers that are already proposed, planned or under implementation. Decisions on further projects should be mainly taken by the private sector, based on merits, within the overarching framework of the Plan.
3. Analysis of tourist accommodation status, transport and other infrastructure projects (Chapters 8 & 9)
4. Issues relating to human resources development, economic & social impacts of tourism and regional priorities in tourism development (Chapters 10 & 11)
5. Outline of principal tourism products to focus on, based on Kerala’s inherent strengths and relative advantages (Chapters 12 to 17).






Tourist attractions – foundation for developing tourism
Most often, the basic tourist attractions or tourism products available at a place provide the foundation for developing tourism. While other complementary/ supplementary products/features can be added later on, it would be difficult to develop tourism without substantial inherent attractions to start with.
In this context, this chapter provides a district-wise listing and brief description of important tourism assets of Kerala. The information given is drawn from several sources – varieties of tourist literature, web sites and the ‘Green Symphony’ CD- ROM.
Information on tourism assets of each district has been limited to one page, thereby resulting in a process of selection and editing. This has to some extent been done based on perceived relevance of the assets to tourism planning.

Kerala’s tourism assets – categorisation
The various tourist attractions in Kerala can be classified broadly as cultural attractions and natural attractions. In the listing that follows, most of the tourism assets have been assigned letter codes in the margin, based on the principal interests that they cater to. The coding pattern is given below.

CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS NATURAL ATTRACTIONS
T History, architecture, archeology B Beach
C Culture, heritage, arts & crafts W Backwater
U Museum, palace P Picnic spot
O Fort H Hill station, hill, mountain peak
R Religious place, pilgrimage centre, place of worship F Wildlife/bird sanctuary, forest
E Waterfalls
L Lake
Pilgrimage centres/places of worship have received substantial representation in the listings. Although many of them may not have wide ecumenical appeal, they nevertheless attract a large number of devotees/pilgrims from far and near.


Unless otherwise mentioned, distances of tourist places indicated in brackets are from the local district headquarters.
Detailed evaluation, ranking or grading of tourist attractions in each category has not been possible, within the time frame that was available for the preparation of this Plan Document. Nevertheless, relative importance of tourist destinations has been suggested in the listings by the use of different front styles and font sizes as explained below.

District headquarters and/or major tourist destinations reported to be attracting tourists in large numbers GURUVAYOOR

Other popular, planned or potential tourist destinations of varying degrees of perceived relative importance/ development potential. KUMARAKOM MUZHAPPILANGAD BEACH
EZHIMALA
Karumadi
Relative prominence by way of font style/letter size has been given based on the following criteria:
1. Current level of development & popularity of the tourism asset
2. Inclusion of the asset in Kerala Government’s tourism plans & proposals
3. Relatively unexplored location with apparent potential for future development
The district-wise text is followed by seven maps. The first map (Exhibit 2.1) identifies the districts and district headquarters in Kerala, that would be repeatedly referred to in this Plan Document; and also provides an indication of the elevation contours in different parts of the State.
The other six maps (Exhibits 2.2 to 2.7) locate selected tourist sites in Kerala that are currently popular and/or hold potential for the future, under six principal categories:

1. museums & monuments 4. wildlife sanctuaries & national parks
2. places of worship 5. backwater tourism nodes
3. hills & hill stations 6. beaches

Imbalance between geographical spread of tourism assets and tourism development
The list of assets and the maps very clearly bring out the following facts:
1. Most of the principal tourism assets in Kerala fall into half a dozen close-knit categories.
2. The tourism assets are spread out fairly uniformly across the whole of Kerala.
3. Although the currently more popular tourist destinations are concentrated in the southern and central parts of the State, there are many potential tourism assets in the northern districts.


District-wise listing of principal tourism assets

1. THIRUVANANTHAPURAM DISTRICT
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM CITY – State capital. Diverse tourism interests.
R Sri Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple –City’s best-known landmark. Deity is 18-ft image of Vishnu reclining on celestial serpent Anantha. 16th century temple, has 368 sculptured stone pillars & mural paintings. 100-ft
high gopuram in Dravidian style built by Travancore Maharaja in 1733.
U Museum complex & zoo – Napier Museum, Shri Chithra Art Gallery (has paintings by Ravi
Varma) and zoological-cum-botanical garden.
U Kuthiramalika (Puthenmalika) Palace Museum – Built by the musician king Maharaja
Swathi Thirunal. Paintings and other collections of the royal family.
U Kanakakunnu Palace – Palace with landscaped garden illuminated after sunset.
P B Shanghumukham Beach (8 km) – Beach near airport. Has indoor recreation club,
matsya kanyaka (35 m long mermaid sculpture), starfish shaped restaurant & children’s traffic training park. Sunset watching. Water is polluted by urban effluents.
W P AKKULAM Boat Club (8 km) – Picnic spot on backwaters; Boating, park, swimming pool.
W P VELI Tourist Village (8 km) – Picnic spot. Veli lagoon meets Arabian sea here. Boating in backwater lagoon, 18-acre waterfront garden with modern sculptures, floating bridge.
W R THIRUVALLAM (10 km enroute to Kovalam) – Serene backwater stretch. Canoe rides
in backwaters. Has temple to Parasurama, the legendary founder of Kerala.
B KOVALAM (16 km) – Most visited beach in Kerala – popular since
1930s. Comprises three adjacent crescent beaches. Accommodation to suit all budgets. Several ayurvedic centres. Handicraft and souvenir shops.
B Chowara beach (south of Kovalam) - Virgin beach; new tourist destination with several
heritage and ayurvedic resorts.
R Vizhinjam (Fishing port south of Kovalam) - Has Rock Cave – 18th century granite
cave temple with loose/incomplete sculptures/reliefs of Vinandhara Dakshinamurthy, Shiva and Parvathi. Also, marine aquarium.
B Poovar – Known for Poovar Island Resort & Wilson Beach Resort.
B R VARKALA (40 km) – Beach resort & pilgrim centre. High cliffs with mineral springs near coastline. Several resorts & hotels. Nature Care Centre offers yoga & massage. Sivagiri Mutt atop Sivagiri hill has Samadhi of Sree Narayana Guru, religious & social reformer.
Papanasham beach with 2000-year old Janardhana Swamy Temple.
B O Anjengo (Anchuthengu) (36 km) – Historical town between Arabian sea & Anjengo Kayal.
East India Company built a fort with the permission of the queen of Attingal in 1695. Beach, ruins of fort and flag staff, tombs of Dutch and British are some places of interest.
P R Aruvikkara (16 km) – Site of a mini dam supplying water to Thiruvananthapuram. Ancient rock shrine dedicated to Bhagavathi, on the banks of Karamana river.
F P NEYYAR Wildlife Sanctuary & Neyyar Dam (32 km) – Popular picnic spot. Crocodile farm, lion safari park and boating in Neyyar dam reservoir.
H Agasthyarkoodam – 1868 m ASL peak, part of Neyyar Sanctuary. Accessible by foot
from Kottor near Neyyar Dam, Trekking with permission.
E Meenmutty falls – Situated in Neyyar Sanctuary.
H PONMUDI (61 km) – Hill station 915 m ASL. Deer park nearby. Golden valley – scenic viewpoint with natural springs. Trekking trails.
U Koyikkal Palace, Nedumangad (18 km enroute to Ponmudi) – 15th century double
storeyed Nalukettu building with gabled roof, museum of folklore & numismatics.
F PEPPARA Wildlife Sanctuary (50 km, deviation enroute to Ponmudi) – Rich flora & fauna. Rugged terrain with rivulets.


2. KOLLAM DISTRICT
W KOLLAM CITY – Situated on Ashtamudi Lake. Gateway to backwaters.
Backwater boat tour route: Kollam – Alumkadavu – Alappuzha. Also has house boats & resorts.
W P Picnic Village at Ashramam – Situated on backwater. Main centre of
recreational activities in Kollam. 200 year old government guest house, adventure park, children’s traffic park, tourist boat club, Yatri Nivas.
B P Mahatma Gandhi Beach & Park (2 km north) – Place for short outings and picnics.
B T Thangasseri (5 km) – Seaside village of historical importance. Ruins of
Portuguese/Dutch fort and 18th century churches and colonial bungalows. 144 ft high century old light house on beach.
B Thirumullavaram Beach (6 km north) – Beach fringed with coconut palms. A popular
local picnic centre.
W ALUMKADAVU (23 km) – Picturesque village on Kayamkulam lake near Karunagapally. Half way enroute to Alappuzha from Kollam, by boat. Home of artisans who crafted the over 60 feet long kettuvalloms (traditional cargo boats) in yesteryears. These are now re-
modeled as tourist house boats.
P THENMALA (66 km) – Newly developed eco-tourism centre with boating facility in
Kallada dam reservoir, garden, musical fountain, trekking path, etc. Entry point to Shenduruny wildlife sanctuary.
F SHENDURUNY Wildlife Sanctuary – Formed around the Kallada irrigation project.
Shenduruny valley is one of the richest floral areas of Kerala. Also home for elephants, tigers, leopards, bears, lion tailed macaques.
E PALARUVI Waterfalls (75 km) – Palaruvi means ‘milky stream’. The 300 ft waterfall down the rocks, gives the impression of flowing milk. The water falls into a shallow pool,
suitable for bathing/swimming. Wooded picnic spot. KTDC motel. Smaller cascades nearby.
R KULATHUPUZHA (64 km) – Sri Dharma Sastha temple in forest area near
Thenmala, on the right bank of Kulathupuzha river. Forest range famous for elephants.
R ARIANKAVU (70 km) – Sri Sastha temple, 5 km from Palaruvi. Attracts pilgrims during
Mandalapooja in December. 2.5 km railway tunnel nearby.
R Mayyanad (10 km) – Has nine temples. Most important is Subramanya temple at
Umayanallur, said to be consecrated by Adi Sankaracharya.
R L SASTHAMKOTTA (29 km) – Has Kerala’s largest fresh water lake with scenic hills on
three sides. Ancient Sastha temple on lake shore is an important pilgrim centre.
R Ochira (34 km) – Parabrahma temple dedicated to universal consciousness. Unique feature is that there is no deity or idol. Known for Ochira Kali festival in mid-June – mock fight between groups of men dressed as warriors on the padanilam (battle field). They
perform martial dance standing in knee-deep water, brandishing swords & shields and splashing water in all directions. Panthrandu Vilakku (twelve lamp festival) in Nov/Dec.
R Matha Amrithanandamayi Ashram, Amrithapuri near Vallikkavu – Residence and
headquarters of Matha Amrithanandamayi Devi. Accessible by road and boat.
R PUNALUR (46 km) – Suspension bridge built in 1879 over Kallada river is star attraction.
Lord Ayyappa temple at Sasthamkoram. Industrial town.
R Rameshwara Temple – Dating from the 12th to 16th centuries with Pandyan influence in
design. Tamil inscriptions, Vyala monster sculptures.
R JATAYUPARA at Chadayamangalam – Huge rock where the mythical bird Jatayu is
believed to have collapsed after failing in attempts to rescue Sita from Ravana.
R KOTTUKAL Rock Cut Cave Temple (11 km from Chadayamangalam) – Idyllic example
of rock cut temple architecture.



3. PATHANAMTHITTA DISTRICT
PATHANAMTHITTA TOWN – Hub of pilgrim centres in Kerala.
R MALAYALAPUZHA (8km) – Bhagavathy Temple has beautiful wall paintings and artistic
stone carvings. A very popular pilgrim centre.
Konni (11km) – Known for its elephant training centre. Reservoir. Agricultural region rich
in cash crops like rubber, pepper, coffee, ginger, etc. Proposed eco-tourism centre.
C Elavumthitta (12km) – Muloor Smarakam, memorial to Muloor, social reformer & poet.
R Kozhencherry (13 km) – Venue of largest Christian gathering in Asia, known as Maramon Convention. Held in February-March each year on the banks of river Pamba at Maramon
since over 100 years. Addressed by Christian scholars from all over the world.
E Perunthenaruvi (36 km via Vachoochira) – 100 feet high waterfalls on the Pamba river.
R SABARIMALA (72 km) – Most popular pilgrim centre in Kerala. Attracts 15 million pilgrims annually. Famous for Ayyappa Temple situated in a hilly, wooded region at 914 m ASL. Accessible only by foot from Pamba (4 km).
Mandalapooja & Makara vilakku (Nov – Jan) is the peak pilgrim season.
R Nilackal (17 km from Sabarimala) – Has old Shiva temple.
R Pandalam (14 km from Chengannur) – Ayyappa, deity of Sabarimala, had his human sojourn here as son of the Raja of Pandalam. Valiyakoikal temple here was modeled on the Sabarimala shrine. Pilgrims worship here enroute to Sabarimala. Before Makaravilakku,
ornaments of Ayyappa are taken from Pandalam to Sabarimala.
R C Aranmula (10 km from Chengannur) – Temple town amid undulating green hillocks.
Parthasarathi Temple on the banks of Pamba river is very popular.
Aranmula snake boat race (Aranmula Vallamkali) is held on the last day of Onam festival (Aug-Sep). 30 feet snake boats each with 4 helmsmen, 100 rowers & 25 singers. Vijnana Kalavedi Cultural Centre - Residential courses in Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Kalaripayattu, music, wood carving, etc. Foreigners camp to experience Kerala culture.
Aranmula kannadi - Hand made polished metal mirrors make unique souvenirs.
R ACHANKOVIL (80 km from Punalur) – Has Dharmasastha temple, believed to have
been founded by Parasurama. The deity holds an ever-bright shield and sword in hand.
R Thiruvalla - Sri Vallabha Temple – A large temple in Kerala style. Kathakali performance is staged here every evening. The name Thiruvalla originates from God Sri Vallabhan.
Paliakara Church Has mural paintings.
R Niranam (7 km from Thiruvalla) – Has one of the oldest Christian churches in India, believed to have been built by the apostle St. Thomas## in 52 A.D. Also the birthplace of a band of 14th century poets and social reformers popularly known as Niranam Kavikal or Kannassa Panikkaranmar, who re-rendered many Sanskrit works in Malayalam.
R T Rock Cut Cave Temple (6 km from Thiruvalla) –Resembles Pallava style. Dated to 8th
century A.D. ‘Sivalinga’ cut out of a rock is enshrined in a square cave.
R C Mannadi Kavu (13 km from Adoor) – Ancient Bhagavathy temple here has exquisite stone sculptures. Kerala Institute of Folklore and Folk Arts functions here. Memorial to Veluthampi Dalawa, renowned freedom fighter of Travancore, who spent his last days
here before he killed himself with his sword.
H Charalkunnu – Picturesque hill station, provides panoramic view of nearby valleys.
R Manjanikara Church – Mar Ignatius Elias III, the holy patriot of Anthoid while on a visit to
India, died at this place in 1932. This place later developed into a pilgrim centre.

## St.Thomas, the apostle, arrived in A.D. 52 at Muciris (near modern Kodungalloor or Cranganore)
with Jewish merchants, for the propagation of Christ’s message. It is locally believed that St. Thomas established seven and half churches in Kerala. Seven churches were established at Kodungalloor, Palayur, Paravur, Kokkomangalam, Niranam, Chayal and Kollam. The churches at Malayattoor and Tiruvamcode (near Kanyakumari) are together regarded as the half (small) church. Most of the churches are still in existence, though perhaps not in their original form.


4. ALAPPUZHA DISTRICT
W ALAPPUZHA TOWN – ‘Venice of the East’ – situated on the banks of a network of canals, lakes and lagoons. Hub of houseboat operations and
backwater cruises: from Alappuzha to Kollam, Kottayam & Kochi. Famous for Nehru Trophy Boat Race (Aug) and Tourism Snake Boat Race (Jan).
B Alappuzha Beach – Long sandy beach. First light house on the west coast, built in 1862.
Pier extending into the sea is about 140 years old. Vijaya Beach Park – picnic spot with children’s park & boating facilities. Sea View Park has boating facilities & swimming pool.
R Mullackal Rajarajeshwari Temple – “Navarathri” festival is celebrated with procession of
nine elephants. Cultural programmes including Ottan thullal are staged.
R Latin Catholic Church – One of the oldest churches.
R Kottamkulangara Mahavishnu & Devi Temples – Two temples in same compound.
Mahavishnu temple was earlier situated in a pond, which is now covered with sand.
B Marari Beach (15 km north)– Known for Marari Beach Resort
C Chavara Bhavan (6 km from Alappuzha) – Ancestral home of the blessed Kuriakose Elias
Chavara. Accessible only by boat. 250-year old beacon of light is preserved here.
T Punnapra (near Alappuzha) – Memorial to Punnapra – Vayalar uprising (1946) - bitter
struggle between communists & Travancore State Police.
R St. Mary’s Church at Champakulam – Believed to be one of the seven established by
St.Thomas, the apostle. Annual feast in October.
W PATHIRAMANAL (14 km) – 10 acre picturesque island on Vembanad lake accessible only by boat (from Kumarakom & Muhamma). Covered with greenery & visited by rare migratory
birds. Name means ‘Sands of midnight’. International backwater resort is to be developed here by Oberoi Group.
W Kuttanad region / Q,S,T and R Block Kayals (canals) – ‘Rice bowl of Kerala’ in the heart of the backwaters between Alappuzha & Changanassery. Farming is done 1 to 2 m below seal level on land reclaimed from backwaters & protected by dykes. This amazing feature
can be observed through leisurely cruise along the inland water ways.
R Arthunkal (22 km north, near Cherthala) – St. Andrew’s Ferona Church established by
Portuguese missionaries in 1851. ‘Arthunkal Perunnal’ –St. Sebastian feast is held in Jan.
R Kokkomangalam Church (near Cherthala) – Established by St. Thomas.
R Ambalappuzha (14 km south) – Has Sree Krishna Temple, built in typical Kerala style. Temple has paintings of Dasavatharam on inner walls of Chuttambalam. Famous for Palpayasam – milk porridge offered to the deity. Annual festival in March/April. 16th century
poet Kunjan Nambiar staged his first Ottan Thullal, a satiric solo dance performance here.
C R Karumadi (3 km east of Ambalappuzha) – Famous for its Karumadi Kuttan, a black
granite figure of Buddha said to belong to the 9th - 11th century.
U KRISHNAPURAM PALACE near Karthikapally (47 km) – This 18th century palace was built during the reign of Marthanda Varma of Travancore. Double storied structure of typical Kerala architecture – gabled roof, dormer windows, narrow corridors. Famous for one of
Kerala’s largest mural paintings (14 ft x11 ft) depicting Gajendramoksham. Also has
museum of sculptures, paintings & bronzes. Protected by State Archeology Department.
R St. George Church at Edathua (24 km) - Established in 1810; located on the banks of
Manimala river. Believed to heal mental disorders and other ailments.
R Mannarsala Sree Nagaraja Temple, near Haripad (32 km) – Ancient temple of serpent
god Nagaraja & consorts – Sarpa Yakshi & Naga Yakshi, in a panoramic 16-acre wooded site. Presided over by a priestess. Popular with women seeking to have a child.
R Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple near Mavelikkara (5 km east of Kayamkulam) – Temple of Bhadrakali, supposed to possess miraculous powers. Famous for Kettukazhcha festival (February/March) – procession of tall decorated chariots, with brightly adorned
images of horses, bullocks and epic heroes; cultural performances.


5. KOTTAYAM DISTRICT
R KOTTAYAM TOWN – “Mecca of Publishing Industry”, home of periodicals.
Valiapalli Church / St. Mary’s Church (2 km) – Built in 1550. Known for its two 8th
century Persian granite Crosses with Pahlavi inscriptions.
St. Mary’s Church, Cheriapalli (2 km) – Built in 1579 by Thekkumkur Maharajah. Blend
of Kerala & Portuguese architecture. Has murals on biblical & non-biblical themes.
Vimalagiri Church (Angathattupalli) – Cathedral of the Diocese of Vijayapuram built in
Gothic style. 172 ft high main steeple is the highest church steeple in Kerala.
St. Joseph’s Monastery at Mannanam (8 km) – Father Chavara Kuriakose Elias’ mortal remains are preserved here. Site of St. Joseph’s Press established in 1844, which printed
‘Nasrani Deepika’, one of the oldest newspapers in the State.
Jama Masjid, Thazhathangadi (2 km) – One of the oldest mosques in India believed to
be 1000 years old, is on the banks of Meenachil river.
Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple – 500 year old temple built by Thekkumkur Maharajah in Kerala style, has colourful murals. Its Koothambalam – building for cultural purposes, is
one of the best in Kerala. Phalguna festival (April/May) attracts large numbers.
W KUMARAKOM (16 km) - Fast developing backwater tourism destination. Resorts offer exclusive holiday options & houseboat stays/cruises.
Tourist Village on Vembanad lake – scenic picnic spot with boating facility.
F Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary alongside Vembanad lake has migratory birds like Siberian stork, egret, heron and teal. Can be explored by boat also.
W Nattakom & Panachikad (10 km) – Quiet villages with scenic water bodies, lush greenery
& migratory birds in summer. Recommended boat ride from Panachikad to Kumarakom.
E P Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls (18 km) – Picnic spot. 100 ft water fall amidst rubber plantations.
R VAIKKOM (40 km) – Famous for Mahadeva temple. According to legend, temple was built
by Parasurama, mythological creator of Kerala. Festival in Nov/Dec with elephant processions. Vaikkom was once capital of erstwhile Vadakkumkur kingdom.
T Anchuvilakku – Stone lamp post in Kerala style near Changanassery boat jetty built by
freedom fighter Veluthampi Dalawa. The five lamps are lit using kerosene.
H Nadukani – Picturesque hill with bird’s eye view of vast meadows girded by huge rocks.
P Karumbukayam-Meloram – Scenic place on Manimala river between Kanjirapally and
Erumeli. Popular for occasional water fiestas organised by enthusiastic people.
R Bharananganam (5 km east of Palai) – The 1000 year old St. Mary’s Church here
features an attractive Grotto of Virgin Mary. Has entombed mortal remains of the blessed Sister Alphonsa (1916-1946) in a chapel next to the church.
R St. Mary’s Church, Kuravilangad – Built in 355 AD on the high ranges of Kuravilangad
town. It has an old bell with undeciphered inscription.
R Ettumanoor (12 km) – 16th century Mahadeva Temple in Kerala style of temple architecture. Inner & outer walls have exquisite sculptures and murals, depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. Famous for painting of Nataraja in the gopuram and ezharaponnara
(7 ½ elephants finished in gold). Central shrine has copper plated conical roof.
R ERUMELI (60 km) – Vavarambalam Mosque dedicated to Vavar, friend of Ayyappa -
deity of Sabarimala. Hindu pilgrims worship here before proceeding to Sabarimala.
H ILAVEEZHAPOONCHIRA (55 km) – Means ‘valley where leaves don’t fall’, named as the place has no trees. Verdant landscape with 1000 m high hills. Highest point is Kannadipara. Valley of this rocky mountain reflects the morning sun with mirror like perfection. Mankunnu, Kodayathoormala & Thonippara hills are good for trekking. Pazhakakanam plateau with
bamboo groves, meadows & wild flowers nourished by Todupuzha river & Kazhukankulimali waterfalls are nearby. During monsoons, the valley fills up to form a scenic lake.
R Pundareekapuram (near Thalayolaparambu) – Famous for mural collection, believed to
be the best in Kerala. Sanctum is decorated with murals depicting scenes from Hindu epics.


6. IDUKKI DISTRICT
F THEKKADY (265 km from Thiruvananthapuram) Periyar Tiger
Reserve – Most popular wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. Animals can be observed from boats in Periyar lake. Trekking with guides in small groups.
Kumily (4 km from Thekkady) – Plantation town with accommodation & shopping facility.
Mangala Devi Temple (15 km from Thekkady) – Located in dense woods at 1337 ASL.
Trekking route. Peak commands a picturesque view.
H MUNNAR (310 km from Thiruvananthapuram) – Hill station & popular resort town (1600 to 1800 m ASL) situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni & Kundala. Mountain scenery with craggy peaks, tea estates, picture book settlements & winding lanes.
Facilities for boating, cycle rental, trekking packages & tea factory visits.
H DEVIKULAM (7 km from Munnar) – Hill station with velvet lawns. Sita Devi lake with mineral water springs & picturesque surroundings is a picnic spot. DTPC’s spice garden.
L Mattupetty (13 km from Munnar) – 1700 m ASL. Indo-Swiss livestock project & dairy
farm. Mattupetty lake & dam nearby provide a picnic spot with boating facility.
Lock Heart Gap (13 km from Munnar) – View point. Adventure tourism and trekking
Echo Point (15 km from Munnar) – Scenic place with natural echo phenomenon.
Kundala (20 km from Munnar) – Picturesque tea plantation town on way to Top Station.
Dam and lake, Tata Tea’s golf course. Aruvikkad Waterfalls is nearby.
H Top Station (32 km from Munnar) – 1700 m ASL. Highest point on Munnar – Kodaikanal
road. Offers a panoramic view.
F

H ERAVIKULAM National park (15 km from Munnar) –Established to protect Nilgiri Tahr.
Rajamala, forms the tourism zone of the Park. Nilgiri Tahr can be seen here.
Anamudi (17 km from Munnar) – (2695 m ASL). Highest peak in south India in the southern periphery of the Park. Suitable for trekking.
P T Marayoor (40 km from Munnar) – Natural sandal wood trees. Forest dept’s sandalwood factory. Children’s park under canopy of a single banyan tree. Relics of megalithic age -
‘Muniyaras’ (tombs) believed to date from 1000 B.C. to 200 A.D. have cave paintings.
E Cheeyappara & Valara water falls - Cheeyappara cascades down in seven steps. Place
for trekking. Valara (10 km from Adimali) has a chain of waterfalls surrounded by forests.
F CHINNAR Wildlife Sanctuary (60 km from Munnar) – Watch towers provide fascinating
view. Massive Thoovanam water falls on river Chinnar is deep within the sanctuary.
P F Idukki Arch Dam – World’s second & Asia’s first arch dam, 550 ft high & 650 ft wide.
Boating facility in dam reservoir & hill view park. IDUKKI Wildlife Sanctuary is nearby.
P Cheruthoni (1194 m ASL) – Near PAINAVU, headquarters of Idukki district. Breath taking views of distant areas. Accessible only by jeep.
H PEERUMEDU – Plantation town, takes its name from Peer Mohammed – Sufi saint and
close associate of erstwhile Travancore royal family. Once the summer retreat of the Travancore Maharajas; the palace is now converted to a government guest house.
Kuttikanam (3 km from Peerumedu) – Hilly cardamom plantation area. Trekking.
Thrissanku Hills (near Kuttikanam) – Rolling landscape – Ideal for long walks.
Grampi (5 km from Peerumedu) – Parunthupara (eagle rock), view from high peaks.
Pattumala (17 km from Peerumedu) – Means hill draped in silk. Lofty peaks, little
streams & tea plantations. Velankanni Matha church at the hill top. Flower garden nearby.
H VAGAMON (25 km from Peerumedu) – Trekkers’ delight at an altitude of 1100 m ASL,
surrounded by meadows, valleys and tea gardens. Chain of three hills with religious shrines nearby. Vagamon is proposed to be developed as a prime eco-tourism destination.
P Malankara (near Thodupuzha) – Picnic spot; Muvattupuzha Irrigation Project’s reservoir.
H Kudayathoor Mala (6 km from Thodupuzha) – Picturesque hillock, suitable for trekking.
E Thommankuthu waterfalls (20 km from Thodupuzha) – Small, but scenic waterfall.


7. ERNAKULAM DISTRICT
W KOCHI CITY – ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. Spread over a cluster of islands on Vembanad lake & mainland (Ernakulam). Backwater tours.
Fort Kochi – Historic town influenced by Portuguese, Dutch and British.
R C Jewish synagogue –Built in 1568. Has scrolls of Old Testament, copper
plates recording grants by Kochi rulers & hand painted blue Chinese ceramic tiles. Jew Town – Street leading to synagogue has curio shops.
R T St. Francis Church – Built by Portuguese around 1546. Has crypts &
tombstones of Portuguese nobles. Has Vasco da Gama’s grave stone, as he was first buried here. Mortal remains were later taken to Portugal.
U Dutch Palace (Mattancherry Palace) – Built by Portuguese and gifted to Cochin Raja in 1555. Renovated by the Dutch in 1663. Has beautiful
murals depicting scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharatha.
T Chinese Fishing Nets – Huge cantilevered fishing nets, originally brought here by
traders from the court of Kublai Khan.
R Santa Cruz Basilica – Present building was commissioned in 1887 and has a grand
interior. Originally built in 1558 by Portuguese.
O Pallipuram Fort – On the northern fringe of Vypeen island. Built in 1503 by Portuguese,
first fort built in India by Europeans. Hexagonal shaped & three storeyed.
U Bolghatty Palace – Built in 1744 by the Dutch is now a heritage hotel run by Kerala
Tourism Development Corporation. Located on Bolghatty island.
W GUNDU ISLAND – Small island, coir products factory. Taj Group to develop resort.
B Cherai Beach (45 km) – Near Vypeen island, ideal for swimming.

U R THRIPPUNITHURA (9 km) – Was the seat of the Cochin Rajas.
Hill Palace Museum - Paintings, epigraphy, furniture of the royal family are displayed.
Poornathreyesa (Vishnu) Temple – Masterpiece of Chola architecture.
R Chottanikkara Bhagawathi Temple (15 km; near Thrippunithura) – Deity is
worshipped as Saraswathi, Bhadrakali and Durga at different times of the day.
U Museum of Kerala History (10 km; Edappally) – Has statue of Parasurama, the sage
who is said to have created Kerala. Life size figures depict important landmarks of civilization from neolithic age to modern era in Kerala. One hour sound and light shows.
P R U ALUVA (21 km) –Pilgrim centre & summer picnic site on left bank of river Aluva.
Chovvara – Old summer palace of erstwhile Cochin royal family, on right bank of Aluva.
P Kodanadu (30 km from Kottayam) – Elephant training centre under forest department,
amid high ranges near Perambavoor. Elephants trained for safari are provided to tourists.
F THATTEKKAD Bird Sanctuary (20 km from Kothamangalam) – Between branches of
Periyar river. Has 200 bird species Boat cruises from Bhoothathankettu to Thattekkad.
P BHOOTHATHANKETTU (50 km) – Popular picnic & trekking spot, close to Thattekkad
Bird Sanctuary. Boating in reservoir of Periyar Valley & Idamalayar irrigation project dams.
R MALAYATTOOR (52 km) – St. Thomas Church on Malayattoor peak (609 m ASL). Has
life-size statue of St. Thomas & imprint of his feet on a rock. He is said to have prayed here.
T CHENNAMANGALAM (42 km) –A historical Jewish centre. Has remains of Oriental Jewish
Synagogue in the old Jewish colony. Nearby are ruins of Vypeenkotta Seminary built by Portuguese (16th cen.) and ancient Syrian Catholic Church (13th cen.).
R KALADI (45 km) – Birth place of Adi Sankaracharya, on the banks of river Periyar. Temples to Sri Sankara, Sarada Devi, Sri Krishna, International Temple (abode of peace).
R Kothamangalam (55km) – 14 centuries old St. Thomas & St. Mary’s churches.
R Kanjiramattom Mosque (30 km) - Erected over mortal remains of Sheikh Parid/Farid. Caparisoned elephants, traditional Muslim art forms like Oppana & Mappilappattu, pilgrims
carrying sandalwood paste are highlights of Kodikuthu festival (Dec/Jan).



8. THRISSUR DISTRICT
THRISSUR CITY
R Vadakkumnathan Temple – Shiva temple, one of the largest in Kerala. Shrines & Koothambalam (temple theatre) have exquisite vignettes carved in wood. Houses a museum of wall paintings, wood carvings & art pieces. Is the venue of the famous Pooram festival celebrated in April-May, which
includes procession of decorated elephants carrying ceremonial umbrellas.
U Archaeological Museum – Picture gallery of mural paintings from all over Kerala.
U Art Museum – Collection of wood carvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewellery.
P Vilangankunnu Hill (7 km) – Picnic spot atop a small hill.
R Arattupuzha (12 km south) – Known for the annual Pooram festival during March – April.
Deities of 46 temples from neighbouring villages are brought at night on caparisoned elephants accompanied by music to the local temple of Lord Sastha.
R Thriprayar Temple (South of Thrissur) – Rama temple with exquisite wood carvings,
sculptures and mural paintings. Temple festival in November with parade of 17 elephants.
R GURUVAYOOR (31 km) – 16th century Sree Krishna or Guruvayoorappan Temple. Walls of sanctum have exquisite mural paintings & carvings. 33.5 m high gold plated dhwajasthambham (flag post) adorns outer enclosure. 7m high dipasthambham (pillar of lamps) with 13 circular receptacles provides a gorgeous spectacle. Narayana Bhattathiri
composed ‘Narayaneeyam’, at this temple. Popular venue for Hindu weddings & annaprasanams. Festival (Feb/March) - elephant processions.
Punnathoorkotta (2 km from Guruvayoor) – Visitors can see the trained elephants of
the Guruvayoor temple here.
R Koodal Manikyam Temple near Irinjalakuda (21 km) – Ancient temple, only one in India
with Bharatha (brother of Sree Rama) as deity. 11-day annual festival with 12 caparisoned elephants is held in April/May.
C Cheruthuruthy (32 km) – Seat of Kerala Kalamandalam, a music and dance academy
founded by poet Vallathol Narayana Menon in 1930. Imparts training in Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Thullal and other art forms. Also arranges cultural programmes on request.
P F PEECHI-VAZHANI Wildlife Sanctuary & Peechi Dam (20 km) – Dam site is a picnic spot
with boating facility in the reservoir. Botanical garden & cascading fountains.
R St. Thomas Church at Palayur, Chavakkad – One of the oldest churches in India,
originally supposed to have been built by St. Thomas in A.D. 52.
F CHIMMINI Wildlife Sanctuary – Sanctuary headquarters is at Echippara. Endowed with
scenic beauty and varied wildlife. There is a dam across Chimmini river.
T R KODUNGALLOOR (Cranganore) (50 km southwest) – Coastal port town of immense historical importance. Ancient centre of trade with Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs.
R St. Thomas Memorial Church – St. Thomas landed here in 52 A.D. This church
established by him houses ancient relics.
R Cheraman Juma Masjid – Originally believed to be built in 629 A.D. First juma masjid in India and the second in the world. A local king Cheraman Perumal is believed to have gone to Mecca, embraced Islam and got an existing temple in Kodungalloor converted
into a mosque. The present building dates from the 16th century and is designed in Hindu architectural style. The mosque faces east, unlike other mosques, which face Mecca.
E P ATHIRAPALLY (63 km) and Vazhachal waterfalls (68 km) – Two scenic waterfalls on the edge of Sholayar forest range, 5 km apart. Athirapally falls joins Chalakkudi river after plummeting 80 ft. This is a popular picnic spot. Dream World and Silver Storm amusement
parks are nearby. Vazhachal is part of Chalakkudi river & is amidst dense forest.


9. PALAKKAD DISTRICT
T R PALAKKAD TOWN
O Palakkad Fort (Tipu’s fort) – Granite fort built by Hyder Ali in 1766. One of the best
preserved forts in Kerala. Martyr’s Column & open-air auditorium are in the spacious fort grounds. A children’s park is on one side.
R Kalpathy Siva Temple – 700 year old Viswanatha Swamy temple on the banks of river
Kalpathy. Known for annual chariot festival in November.
R Jain Temple – 32 X 20 feet granite temple has images of Thirthankaras & Yakshinis.
P MALAMPUZHA Dam (10 km) – Garden complex around Malampuzha dam draws large holiday crowd. Gigantic sculpture of ‘Yakshi’ (enchantress) – masterpiece of famous sculptor Kanai Kunhiraman. Small Japanese style rock garden, rose garden, boating facility in reservoir, rope way, hanging
bridge across canal, aquarium. Fantasy Park at Malampuzha has variety of rides - pirate boat, tora tora, water merry go around, etc.
C Lakkidi (near Ottappalam) – Killikkurissimangalam is birth place of Kunjan Nambiar, Kerala’s satirist poet, regarded as progenitor of Ottan thullal, a form of solo dance
narration. Poet’s house is preserved as a memorial by the Kerala Government.
H Dhoni (15 km) – Hill station & trekking spot. Takes 3 hours trek from the base of Dhoni hills
to reach this reserve forest area, with its small waterfall. Also farmhouse with Swiss cattle.
U R Kollengode (19 km) – Has palace and Vishnu temple.
C Chittur (15 km south east) – Known for Kongappa festival in February – March. The
festival commemorates the victory of Nairs of Kochi over the militia of Kongunadu (Coimbatore). Chittur is also known for Kora grass mat making and granite carving.
Chittur Gurumadom or Thunchath Acharyamadom – Memorial to Thunchath
Ezhuthachan, the author of Adhyatma Ramayana.
P KANJIRAPUZHA (24 km) – Reservoir of Kanjirapuzha dam. Evergreen forest ‘Vethilachola’
provides backdrop to the lake surrounded by hills.
H T Alattur (24 km south-west) – Alattur or Velimala hill has ruins of an ancient temple atop
the hill & a perennial natural spring. It also has a cave in the middle with mud partitions.
L Meenkara (32 km) – Panoramic lake and aquarium.
F SILENT VALLEY National Park (80 km) - Substantial stretch of evergreen rain forests. Transportation is possible only up to Mukkali (24 km from park). Rest of the way has to be
covered by foot. Visitors are allowed only in a few places in the buffer zone. Facilities are rudimentary. Home of tribal people. Known for rare lion tailed macaque.
F PARAMBIKULAM Wildlife Sanctuary (135 km) – Has the largest population of wild gaur (bison). Boating facility in Parambikulam reservoir. Trekking is allowed with prior permission. Kannimaram teak tree, said to be the largest in Asia is near Thunakadavu,
headquarters of Parambikulam.
H Attappady (38 km from Mannarkad) – Highland terrain with plantations & forests, fed by
tributaries of river Cauvery. Largest tribal settlement in Kerala. Habitat of tribes like the Irulas & Mudugars. Malleshwaram peak is worshipped as a giant ‘Shivalinga’ by the tribals.
H NELLIAMPATHY (75 km) – Hill station in Nelliampathy forest range, view of misty mountains & valleys interspersed with tea, coffee, cardamom, orange & teak plantations. Vantage view point with 100 m high waterfall near Seethagundu estate. Hills’ heights - 467
m to 1572 m (Padagiri or Nellikota peak). Trekking potential. Camping in community hall at Kaikatty.
P Pothundy (17 km from Nelliampathy) – Pothundy reservoir complex – picnic spot and
stop over point enroute to Nelliampathy.
R Thrithala (75 km) – Kathil Madom temple on the banks of Bharathapuzha river is a domed
structure of granite slabs built in the 9th /10th century. Marks transition from Chola to Pandya style of architecture. Nearby are ruins of a large fort with deep moat hewn out of laterite.






10 MALAPPURAM DISTRICT
R MALAPPURAM TOWN - Jama’at Mosque – One of the most important mosques in Kerala. Nercha festival in April. Adjacent to the mosque is the mausoleum of Malappuram
Shaheeds, whose brave exploits have been immortalized in the Malappuram ballads.
Kottakkal (12 km south) – Has a fortified palace of the Kizhakke Kovilakam kings, a wing of Zamorins. Also, headquarters of Kottakkal Arya Vaidyasala, a pioneering private
Ayurvedic institution established in 1903. Research centre and hospital.
H NILAMBUR – Known for Canolly’s Plot, the world’s oldest teak plantation. Named after H.V.
Connolly, then collector of Malabar district. Bamboo trees cover extensive area in the forest. Teak museum. Original home of Cholainaickans, the oldest tribe of Kerala
C Tirur – Birth place of poet Thunchath Ramanuja Ezhuthachan, father of the Malayalam literature. ‘Thunchan Parambu’, where the 16th century poet was born, is highly venerated
and its sand is held sacred and is used in vidyarambham, especially on Vijaya Dashami.
R Thirunavaya (8 km south of Tirur) – Navamukunda Temple, believed to have been founded by nine saints. Mamamkam festival (grand assembly of rulers in Kerala), started by Cheruman Perumal, used to be held here once every 12 years up to 1755 to choose an emperor. Now, a martial arts festival of Kalarippayattu is held during summer on the
sand banks of Bharathapuzha river.
R Mambaram (26 km east of Tirur) – Muslim pilgrim centre. Famous for the Makhan – a
shrine used primarily as a final resting-place for the principal Thangals. The Mambara Nercha is held in the month of Muharram near the tomb of Mambaram Thangal.
R Manjeri - Karikkad Subramanya temple is unique for its architectural style. The temple at
Thrikkalangode, near Manjeri, is known for its Manjeri Pooram festival in April.
R KONDOTTI (18 km east of Manjeri) – 500 year old Pazhayangadi Mosque, which is
venue of Valia Nercha festival during February – March. Associated with Muslim saint Mohammed Shah, also known as Kondotti Thangal.
B T Tanur – Coastal fishing town of historical importance. One of the first Portuguese
settlements in India. St. Francis Xavier visited in 1546. Beach, Keraladesapuram (Vishnu) Temple – one of the oldest in Kerala.
R Angadippuram – Religious centre for both Hindus and Muslims. Thirumandhankunnu Temple – Principal deities are Shiva and Bhagavathi. Pooram festival in March/April attracts large number of devotees.
Puthanangadi Mosque – Has Arabic inscriptions engraved on one of its planks.
B Padinharekara Beach, near Ponnani – The beach offers a breathtaking view of the
confluence of Bharathapuzha, Tirur Puzha and the Arabian sea.
B Vallikunu Beach – Beach set in the middle of a coconut grove.
W Biyyan Kayal – Waterway with boating facility.
H Kodikuthimala – Perennial springs and green mountains.
E Adyanpara – Waterfalls and lush jungles.



11 KOZHIKODE DISTRICT
C KOZHIKODE CITY – Erstwhile capital of the Zamorins & trading port.
P Mananchira Maidan – Originally palace tank of king Mana Vikrama. The historic maidan
has been converted into an arcadia with landscaped lawns & gardens, artificial hills, sculptures, open air theatre & musical fountain.
U Art gallery & Krishna Menon Museum (West Hill, 5 km) – Art Gallery has paintings of
Ravi Varma among other collections. The section dedicated to V.K Krishna Menon displays his personal belongings.
U Pazhassi Raja Museum (East Hill, 5 km) – Has mural paintings, bronzes, coins, models
of temples, megalithic dolmonoid cysts, umbrella stones, etc.
R Thali Shiva Temple – Important temple of erstwhile Zamorin kingdom, built in the 14th
century. High laterite walls and expansive temple pond.
W The backwaters of Kozhikode – Elathur, the Canoli canal and the Kallai river are favourite
haunts for boating.
W Korapuzha – An upcoming water sports destination. Venue of Korapuzha Jalotsavam.
W F KADALUNDI (19 km from Kozhikode) – Bird Sanctuary spread over a cluster of islands
surrounded by hillocks. Migratory birds gather during the season, starting from November. Also a potential backwater tourist centre.
T Feroke – Ruins of a fort, believed to be built in 1788. More than a dozen tile factories.
B C Beypore (10 km south) – Historical trading port and fishing centre at the mouth of Chaliyar river. Known for indigenous boat building technology. Mammoth traditional Arabian trading vessels known as Urus or Dhows were built by traditional ship builders here. Now wooden
cabin cruisers and pleasure boats are built mainly for export. Beach has a bridge made of huge stones piled together, which makes a 2 km pathway into the sea.
B T KAPPAD BEACH (16 km) – Vasco da Gama’s landing here in 1498 is commemorated by a
small stone monument at the beach. Rocky promontories jutting out to the sea result in a beach of calm waters. 800 year old temple on rock. Ayurvedic health resort nearby.
H P PERUVANNAMUZHI (60 km) – Peruvannamuzhi dam site. Reservoir has speed boat and row boat facilities. Also, uninhabited islands, bird sanctuary and crocodile farm. ‘Smaraka Thottam’, a garden built in memory of freedom fighters of the region.
H TUSHARAGIRI (50 km east) – Two streams meet here to form the Chalippuzha river.
River diverges into three waterfalls creating a snowy spray, which gives the name ‘Tusharagiri”. Highest waterfall is Thenpara, which falls 75 m. Trekking tracks; tribal area.
T Vadakara (40 km) – Historical town – has a ruined fort. Was the scene of many exploits of Tacholi Othenan, the hero of Vadakkanpattu or the northern ballads of Kerala.
Iringal – Birth place of legendary navigator Kunjali Marakkar, chief of Zamorin’s force. His sword is preserved in the house, which is under state archeology department.
R Lokanarkavu Bhagavathi Temple (5 km from Vadakara) – Main deity is Goddess
Durga, with two adjacent shrines to Vishnu and Shiva. Main Durga temple is believed to be over 1500 years old. Three rock cut caves in the temple premises have beautiful carvings & murals. This temple is frequently alluded to in the northern ballads of Kerala.
R Kuttichira – Muccunti mosque has interesting stone inscriptions.
B T Thikkoti Light house –Light house overlooking Velliyamkallu – a rock dreaded by mariners
off Moodadi coast, was build after a ship wreck. Migratory birds visit this area.
H Vellarimala – Kanjirapuzha, tributary of Chaliyar river, flowing along the rocky terrain forms
several attractive waterfalls. Ideal for relaxing and trekking.



12 WAYANAD DISTRICT
H R KALPETTA – District headquarters. Ananthanathaswamy Jain temple at Puliyarmala.
H VYTHIRI – Picturesque hill town at 1300 ASL.
H LAKKIDI (5 km from Vythiri) – Gateway to Wayanad. 700 m ASL at the crest of
Thammasseri ghat pass. Picturesque hills, gurgling streams & luxuriant vegetation on the 12 km Adivaram – Lakkidi route. Lakkidi has one of the highest rainfalls in the world.
L Pookot Lake (3 km from Lakkidi) - Fresh water lake surrounded by hills. Has boating
facility, children’s park, handicrafts & spice emporium, fresh water aquarium.
H Chembra Peak (14 km west) – Highest peak in Wayanad -2100m ASL. Panoramic
surroundings with plantations and forests. A challenging trekking route. DTPC provides guides and trekking equipment and tents on hire. Meppadi hills nearby are similar.
R Varambetta Mosque (15 km east) – 300 year old mosque, oldest in Wayanad. Built in
traditional Kerala style with gabled roof.
P Banasura Dam (21 km northwest) – Mini hydel project with largest earth dam in India.
Park with flowering trees. Islands in the reservoir. View of Banasura hills in the background.
R Glass Temple at Kottamunda (20 km) – Parswanatha Swamy Jain Temple on the slope of
Vellarimala. Mirrors inside temple walls reflect thousands of images of the icons of Parswanatha Swamy and Padmavathi Devi in the sanctum sanctorum.
E Sentinel Rock Waterfalls (22 km south) Waterfall tumbling down a height of 20m from a
hilltop at Chooralmala near Meppadi. Ideal for rock climbing.
E Kanthanpara Waterfalls (12 km southeast of Kalpetta) – Small yet scenic waterfall just
about 30 m in height.
E Meenmutty Waterfalls (12 km east of Meppadi) – Waterfall cascading in three tiers, down
a spectacular height of 50 m.
T Mananthavadi (32 km) – Last resting place of Veera Pazhassi Raja, the Lion of Kerala –
who organised guerilla war against the British. Pazhassi Raja died a martyr’s death and was cremated here in 1805. Forest area at 500 m ASL.
P Pazhassi Tourist Resort – Picnic spot with aquarium, coin operated toys & boating.
R Valliyoorkavu (3 km east of Mananthavadi) – Durga temple, very popular among local
tribal communities. Ten day annual festival in April with dances & music of the tribals.
P Kuruva Island (17 km east of Mananthavadi) – 950 acres of evergreen forests on
Kabani river. Home to rare birds, animals, orchids and herbs. Picnic spot.
R THIRUNELLI (32 km) – Maha Vishnu temple beside river Papanasini amidst Brahmagiri
hills. Shrine supported by 30 granite columns; ground paved with square granite slabs.
H Pakshipathalam (10 km northeast of Thirunelli) – Can sight birds from watch tower at
1740 m ASL; accessible only by trekking. Steep hills, virgin forests and rivulets; trekking place. Cave used by ancient saints for meditation nearby.
H T SULTHAN BATHERY - Hill station. Has fort built by Tipu Sultan in the 18th century.
U Ambalavayal Heritage Museum (12 km south of Sulthan Bathery) – Houses artifacts &
belongings of various tribes. Exhibits include rare 2nd century clay sculptures, ancient bows and arrows, stone weapons, etc.
F WAYANAD Wildlife Sanctuary (16 km from Sultan Bathery) –Rich in flora and fauna –
elephants, spotted deer, gaur, sambar, sloth bear. Tribals live in & around forest area.
T Edakkal Caves (12 km south of Sulthan Bathery) – Archeological site with pre-historic petroglyphs. Two natural rock shelters formed by three huge boulders, at 1000 m ASL on Ambukutty hill. Contain pictorial writings of new stone age (7000 years old), with human &
animal figures in peculiar head dresses along with swastik forms & symbols. One of the earliest centres of human habitation. Accessible only by trekking 5 km from Ambalavayal.
E Chethalayam Waterfalls (12 km from Sultan Bathery) – One has to trek 4 km from
Chethalayam on Pulpalli main road to view the waterfall.
E Soochipara Waterfalls (22 km from Kalpetta) – Three-tiered waterfall in dense forest. 2
km walk from road. Cliff face near waterfall is suitable for rock climbing.


13 KANNUR DISTRICT
KANNUR TOWN – “Great Emporia of Spice Trade” in Marco Polo’s travel
records. Capital of erstwhile Kolathiri Rajas.
B P Payyambalam Beach (2 km) – Popular picnic spot; clear stretch of sandy beach. Mortal
remains of eminent persons from Kerala are laid to rest here.
B Mappila Bay (3 km) – Beach with remnants of a temple and fort. A sea wall projecting
from the fort separates the rough sea and inland water. Modern fishing harbour has been developed under Indo-Norwegian pact.
O St. Angelo Fort (3 km) – A formidable triangular fort built of laterite, facing the Arabian sea, replete with moat and bastions. Originally built by Portuguese in 1505. Passed into
the hands of Dutch, Ali Raja and British. Offers fascinating views of Mappila bay and Dharmadam island.
R W PARASSINIKKADAVU (18 km) - Sri Muthappan Temple - Only temple in Kerala where Theyyam, a ritual dance, is performed every morning & evening. Presiding deity is
Muthappan, hunter incarnation of Shiva. Follows unusual ritual of offering fish & toddy to the deity. Situated on banks of Valapattanam river. Boating facilities available.
F Snake Park (15 km) – Dedicated to conservation of snakes. Has 150 snake species
scientifically maintained in pits and glass cages. Snake demonstrations conducted every hour draw large crowds. Located amidst scenic setting in a sandalwood park.
B MUZHAPPILANGAD BEACH (15 km, enroute to Thalassery) - One of the longest (4 km) and cleanest beaches in Kerala. Highway runs along its entire length, thus making it a
‘drive-in’ beach. Beach is protected by black rocks from deep currents, thus making the shallow waters safe for swimming. Dharmadam island is visible from here.
B DHARMADAM Island (17 km) – Small 5 acre island covered with coconut palms & dense
bushes has a beautiful beach. Permission is required to enter this privately owned island.
B Kizhunna Ezhara Beach (12 km) – This beautiful stretch of sand is one of the most
secluded beaches in Kerala.
C Malayala Kalagramam, New Mahe (29 km) – This is a famous centre for arts and crafts.
Conducts courses in painting, sculpture, music, dance and pottery. Has art gallery.
R Thodeekulam Siva Temple (34 km, on Thalassery-Mananthavady road) – Famous for
mural paintings. Believed to be 2000 years old. Associated with the Pazhassi Raja family.
R Madayi Para (22 km) – Ancient mosque originally built in 1124 AD by Malik Ibn Dinar, a
Muslim preacher from Arabia. Has a block of white marble brought by him from Mecca. Nearby is a dilapidated fort, built by Tipu Sultan. There is also a fine beach.
P R EZHIMALA (25 km north) – Beautiful beach here has a hill nearby (286 m high). Atop the hill is a mosque having mortal remains of Sheikh Abdul Latif, a Muslim reformist. At the foot of the hill are a cave & an old burial chamber. Rare ayurvedic herbs are found in Ezhimala.
Ezhimala was capital of the ancient Mooshika kings. Buddha is believed to have visited Ezhimala. Popular picnic spot. Naval academy is being developed here.
F ARALAM Wildlife Sanctuary (35 km from Thalassery) – Tropical semi evergreen forest.
Herds of deer, elephant, etc.
P Pazhassi Dam (37 km) – Dam site with garden. Boating facility in reservoir.
H PYTHAL MALA (65 km) – This enchanting hill station (1370 m ASL) is rich in flora and
fauna. It is a 6 km trek to the top of the hills. There is a proposal to establish a zoo here.
O Thalasseri – Thalasseri Fort – Square fort with massive walls & secret tunnels into the
sea, located near beach. Built by the British in 1708. Grand gateway intricately carved huge door and a lighthouse are major attractions.
U Arrackal Kottaram (3 km from Thalassery) – Palace of Arrackal Ali Rajas.
T Gundert Bungalow – Residence of German missionary & scholar Rev. Dr. Herman
Gundert (1814-1893). He compiled first Malayalam-English dictionary, published one of the first Malayalam newspapers-Paschimodayam & also built a church on Nattur hill.



14 KASARAGOD DISTRICT
KASARAGOD TOWN – District headquarters
O Chandragiri Fort (4 km from Kasaragod) – Built by Shivappa Naik in the 17th century.
Small square shaped fort. Offers view of Chandragiri river and Arabian sea. Vantage point to watch sunset. Mosque and ancient Kizhur Sastha temple nearby.
W Chandragiri Cruises – Backwater boat trips to nearby islands & palm groves available
from Chandragiri bridge.
BEKAL (16 km south of Kasaragod) - Planned to be developed as a
major beach & backwater tourist destination.
B P
W Pallikere Beach – Walking distance from Bekal fort. Shallow water beach offers a scenic view of Bekal fort. Gardens & playground have been developed near the beach. Bekal Aqua Park – Offers boating facility in the backwaters near Pallikere beach/Bekal Hole
backwaters.
O Bekal Fort – Largest and best-preserved fort in Kerala. 130-ft high laterite structure shaped like a giant keyhole. The fort’s tall observation tower offers a view of Arabian sea, beach and surrounding areas. Believed to be built in the 1650s by Shivappa Naik of Ikkeri dynasty.
Mosque built by Tipu Sultan and Hanuman temple at fort entrance.
B Kappil Beach (22 km) – Remote & once secluded beach is becoming a tourist attraction.
R Ananthapura Lake Temple (12 km northeast) – This 9th century temple set in a rock cut
lake is the only lake temple in Kerala. It is believed to be the moolasthanam (original seat) of Ananthapadmanabhaswamy at Thiruvananthapuram. Deity is Padmanabhaswamy seated on Anantha. Theppotsavam of deity on canoes in the lake and Yakshagana
performances are held during annual festival in April.
W VALIYAPARAMBA (30 km from Bekal) – Perhaps the most scenic backwater stretch in Kerala. Fed by four rivers and dotted with numerous
little islands. Valiyaparamba offers enchanting boat cruises.
R W Kumbla (14 km northwest of Kasaragod) – Set on a picturesque lagoon separated from
the sea by a sand pit & connected by a narrow channel. Was the seat of Kumbla kings who ruled the southern Tuluva kingdom. Sree Parthasarathi Temple at Munjankavu nearby.
C W NILESWARAM – Cultural centre of the district. The Nileswaram palace today functions as the folk centre of the Dept of Archaeology. The town is also famous for its shrines and the Karl Bhavan Yoga and cultural centres. There are several ‘Kavus’, where nature,
God and man commune in serene silence. Mannanpurathu kavu is the most important.
R C

B Manjeshwara – Known for Srimad Anantheshwara temple or Mahalingeshwara temple. Birth place memorial of Govinda Pai – patriarch of Kannada literature and poetry.
Kanwatheertha beach (3 km from Manjeshwara) – A large swimming pool-like formation of the sea on the vast beach is the main attraction.
R Bela (15 km north of Kasaragod) – Mother Doloru Church or Church of ‘Our Lady of
Sorrows’ – oldest church in the district. Built in 1890 in Gothic style – rare architecture.
R Madiyankulam Durga Temple – Architectural heritage property. Bhutha dance performed
during annual festivals in May/June and Dec/Jan.
P C Cheruvathur –A fascinating picnic spot. Sight from hill above is exquisite. Known for
Veeramalakunnu – home of the illustrious poets and scholars of Kuttamath.
H Kottancherry (30 km north east of Kanhangad) – Similar in scenic beauty to Kodaikanal.
The rain forest near Konnakkad is ideal for trekking.
H RANIPURAM (55 km) – 750 m ASL. Trekking trails and varied vegetation – evergreen shola & monsoon forests & grasslands. Accessible by jeep. DTPC cottages.
R Thalankara – Malik Dinar Juma Masjid – Built in old carpentry style; believed to be one of
the oldest mosques in India. Located near Arabian Sea. Built by a Muslim preacher Malik Mohammed Dinar, whose tomb lies adjacent to the mosque.




Analysis of Tourist Statistics
Tourist arrivals – numbers:
Published tourist statistics report domestic and foreign tourist arrivals into Kerala during the year 2001 at 5.24 million and 0.21 million respectively (Exhibit 3.1).
This is as collated by the Kerala Tourism Department, from the data obtained from hotels located in the principal tourist destinations of the State. As is the usual practice, if the same tourist camps in two different places, he gets counted twice. This overestimation is however claimed to be broadly counter balanced, as data is not fully captured from all hotels/lodges.
Also, the published data does not capture pilgrims visiting Sabarimala (reported at 17.4 million during the year 2000!), as most of them do not stay in commercial hotels. Nonetheless, they too would have to be considered tourists, if one were to go by the liberal definition.
But some members of Kerala’s hospitality and travel industry are of the opinion that the published statistics over-estimate the leisure tourist traffic that comes into Kerala. The view expressed is that there is multiple counting of foreign tourists at different locations, and also that many persons of Indian origin with foreign passports coming to visit friends and relatives are included. A modal estimate of actual foreign tourist arrivals is slightly over 100,000. Observations of this nature would however apply to the foreign tourist statistics compiled elsewhere as well, and are not unique to Kerala.
As regards domestic tourists, the private travel industry members feel that real leisure tourism traffic in Kerala is about 1.5 to 2 million per annum, of which about 0.2 million may be considered as high spending. It is said that majority of those checking into hotels come for reasons other than leisure tourism such as business, official/personal work, etc. The reported growth in numbers is also said to be partly due to better data capturing over the years, rather than real increase in numbers. However, the definition of tourists would include visitors coming for business and other purposes as well.
More importantly, one would have to go by the hard numbers for comparison across years and for certain elements of future planning, regardless of their limitations. The gut-feel estimates can only be viewed as explanatory/qualifying remarks.


Tourist arrivals – growth rates:
The compounded annual growth rates in domestic and foreign tourist arrivals into Kerala over the five-year period 1996 to 2001, work out to 3.5 % and 3.4 % respectively. However, the growth rates would be significantly higher if the period between 1995 and 2001 is considered – domestic: 5 % and foreign: 6.5 %. This is due to the unusually high increase in tourist arrivals between 1995 and 1996.

Seasonality:
Arrival of foreign tourists is more seasonal (October to March accounts for 66% of total annual arrivals) than domestic tourist arrivals, which is relatively uniform throughout the year (Exhibit 3.2).
There is no notable change in the seasonality of domestic tourist arrivals over the 15-year period from 1987 to 2001. However, the pattern of foreign tourist arrivals suggests a progressive decline in the share of the October-December period, with a corresponding increase during the April–June quarter (Exhibit 3.3).

Popular tourist destinations/regions:
District-wise and centre-wise tourist arrivals to Kerala during the year 2000 is presented in Exhibit 3.4. Thrissur, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Palakkad districts report the highest number of total tourist arrivals.
Southern and central regions of Kerala enjoy relatively larger share of up-market tourist traffic. In particular, northern Kerala’s share of foreign tourist arrivals is quite low (less than 5 %).
The trends in destination-wise tourist statistics clearly indicate that while domestic tourists tend to show interest in places of religious interest and general recreation, foreign tourists are more attracted to beaches, backwaters and places of natural beauty/wildlife sanctuaries (Exhibit 3.5).

Foreign tourists – principal sources & modes of arrival:
U.K., Maldives, U.S.A., Germany and France, together contribute to more than 50% of foreign tourist arrivals to Kerala (Exhibit 3.6).
Over the period from 1987 to 2000, there is an increase in the share of foreign tourist arrivals from U.K. and U.S.A. At the same time, there is a distinct decline in the share of tourist arrivals from some developed countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and Australia (Exhibit 3.7).
About two-thirds of foreign tourists come to Kerala by road and rail, after entering India through other states. Since 1993, there is a small but significant percentage of foreign tourist arrivals by ship (Exhibit 3.8).


Tourist Traffic Projection
Projection based on Kerala Tourism Vision’s targets:
The Perspective Plan necessitates at least a broad quantification of the tourist traffic that can potentially and realistically be induced to visit the State, and also that the state government, in setting its tourism objectives, desires to attract.
Kerala’s Tourism Vision 2025 envisages a growth rate of 7 % per annum in foreign tourist arrivals and 9 % growth in domestic tourist arrivals. These growth rates would translate to the following numbers:
(Numbers)


Year Foreign tourist arrivals
(7 % annual growth) Domestic tourist arrivals
(9 % annual growth)
2001
(base year data) 208,830 5,239,692
Projections based on Vision 2025 growth targets:
2006-07 293,000 8,062,000
2011-12 411,000 12,404,000
2016-17 576,000 19,085,000
2021-22 808,000 29,365,000
Even very small neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Maldives attract about 400,000 and 300,000 foreign tourists per annum respectively. But these figures are achieved by providing low-cost value-for-money packages and under duress to use tourism as one of the lead vehicles for economic growth. Thailand doubled its annual foreign tourist arrivals from 5 million in 1990 to 10 million by the year 2000. But the Amazing Thailand campaign was implemented under serious compulsions to ward off economic recession. Tourism products and services were offered at highly affordable prices. The growth in tourism was accompanied by considerable adverse socio-cultural impact on the society. Thailand is now re- positioning itself as a ‘family destination’.
A four-fold growth in foreign tourist arrivals into Kerala in twenty years may therefore be difficult to achieve without compromises. An ambitious growth target has perhaps been set so as to ensure that at least a part of this is achieved.
Further, the above projections suggest that domestic tourist arrivals would increase more than five-fold in two decades and would be comparable in magnitude to the State’s population itself. While many regions do have annual tourist inflows comparable to or even larger than their populations, it would be difficult to manage this under Indian circumstances, due to deficiencies and imbalances in infrastructure.


Therefore, the growth rates projected in the Vision document may only be achieved during short periods and/or when the base is small. Growth rates of the magnitude envisaged are neither sustainable nor desirable in the long run.

Alternative recommendation on growth rates to aim for:
We would advocate aiming for a more conservative rate of growth in tourism in the long term for the following reasons:
1. Balancing tourism with corresponding development of necessary infrastructure, due to various demands on limited capital resources.
2. Premature aggressive marketing of a tourism product whose basic transport, accommodation, utility, health and security infrastructure are inadequate, and whose hospitality human resources are limited; can irrevocably damage a destination’s image.
3. Allowing residents time to gradually adjust to tourism and participate in its planning and socioeconomic benefits.
4. Avoiding imbalance in economic development and over-dependence on tourism.

We have already seen that average growth rates of 3.5 % have been achieved in recent years in both domestic and foreign tourist arrivals to Kerala. The base of foreign tourist arrivals is small and this group has a higher percentage of niche interest and high spending tourists. One could therefore target a long-term growth rate of 5 % per annum for foreign tourist arrivals. The targeted long term growth rate for domestic tourist arrivals could remain at 3.5 % per year.

Tourist traffic projections based on the above growth rates would be as in the table below. Year-wise intrapolations are provided in Exhibit 3.9.

(Numbers)


Year Foreign tourist
arrivals
(5 % annual growth) Domestic tourist
arrivals (3.5 % annual
growth)
2001
(base year data) 208,830 5,239,692
Moderated tourist traffic projections:
2006-07 267,000 6,223,000
2011-12 340,000 7,391,000
2016-17 434,000 8,778,000
2021-22 554,000 10,426,000


Without doubt, Kerala has achieved remarkably high growth rates in tourist arrivals in recent years, as it started with a relatively small base. Sustaining the same growth rate over a long period may only be possible at the cost of quality/spending power of the incoming tourist traffic. However, this may not be what the State desires, but may be compelled to accept only if other sectors of the economy fail to provide the necessary growth impetus.
Even with moderate growth in tourist arrivals, increase in per capita tourist expenditure in real terms (net of inflation) and corresponding multiplier effects would have a significant positive impact on the State’s economy.

Kerala’s tourist carrying capacity & need for dispersal of tourist inflows
While moderating the growth rates above, we have implicitly taken into consideration the possible carrying capacity of Kerala as a tourist destination, without actually trying to quantify it.
Carrying capacity analysis is an important element in determining the upper limit of desirable tourist inflows and the corresponding development of resources and facilities that should be planned for. It is much better to anticipate and plan for optimum development levels, than allow for saturation to be reached, and then take difficult and often expensive remedial measures.
Carrying capacity is the maximum number of tourists/people who can use a site –
1. without unacceptable alteration in the physical environment,
2. without unacceptable decline in the quality of experience gained by visitors, and
3. without unacceptable adverse impact on the society, economy and culture of the tourist area.
Carrying capacity measurement norms for various types of tourism projects are outlined in Exhibit 3.10.
It is however difficult to quantify the carrying capacity for the state of Kerala as a whole. Though it is not uncommon to relate the number of tourist arrivals to the number of local inhabitants, this ratio itself could vary widely depending on a number of factors, including general infrastructure that is already in place.
The carrying capacity of Kerala would be a function of the extent of clustering of major tourist attractions and the concentration of tourist traffic at the transit points.
Without doubt, the major transit points of Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi already face various constraints. They cannot be overburdened without damage to the quality of tourist experience or an unviably high expenditure in augmenting infrastructure. The envisaged growth in tourist traffic can be handled conveniently and smoothly, if there is significant dispersal of traffic to other transit points and other tourist destinations of the State, especially in the northern districts.





Exhibit 3.1
TRENDS IN DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN TOURIST ARRIVALS INTO KERALA (1986 TO 2001)


Year Domestic tourists Foreign tourists
Nos. Change % Nos. Change %
1986 423,756 50,841
1987 510,619 20.5 51,816 1.9
1988 582,050 14.0 52,083 0.5
1989 634,248 9.0 62,952 20.9
1990 866,525 36.6 66,139 5.1
1991 948,991 9.5 69,309 4.8
1992 994,140 4.8 90,635 30.8
1993 1,027,236 3.3 95,209 5.0
1994 1,226,722 19.4 104,568 9.8
1995 3,915,656 219.2 142,972 36.7
1996 4,403,002 12.4 176,855 23.7
1997 4,926,401 11.9 182,427 3.2
1998 4,481,714 -9.0 189,941 4.1
1999 4,888,287 9.1 202,173 6.4
2000 5,013,221 2.6 209,933 3.8
2001 5,239,692 4.5 208,830 -0.5
Note: 1. Change % column provides percentage variation over previous year.
2. There is a sudden increase in reported domestic tourist arrivals in 1995, due to increase in the hotels covered for data collection.
Source: Tourist Statistics, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala






Exhibit 3.2
AVERAGE MONTH-WISE ARRIVAL PATTERN OF DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN TOURISTS INTO KERALA


Month Percentage of annual arrivals
(averaged over 15 years)
Domestic tourists Foreign tourists
Jan 8.9 13.7
Feb 7.7 11.8
Mar 7.5 9.7
Apr 8.4 6.8
May 9.3 4.8
Jun 6.9 3.6
Jul 7.9 4.5
Aug 8.1 6.9
Sep 8.7 7.3
Oct 9.0 8.1
Nov 8.6 10.3
Dec 9.0 12.4
Total 100.0 100.0

Note: 1. Data given above represents average of reported month-wise tourist arrival pattern from 1987 to 2001
2. Arrival of foreign tourists is more seasonal (October to March accounts for 66% of total annual arrivals) than domestic tourist arrivals, which is relatively uniform throughout the year.
Source: Tourist Statistics, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala







Exhibit 3.3
TRENDS IN SEASONALITY OF DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN TOURIST ARRIVALS INTO KERALA (1987 TO 2001)

Percentage of annual tourist arrivals

Quarter Average over five year periods 15 year average
1987-91 1992-96 1997-01
Domestic Tourists
Jan-Mar 25.8 23.4 24.2 24.1
Apr-Jun 23.2 24.4 24.9 24.6
Jul-Sep 23.7 27.0 23.8 24.7
Oct-Dec 27.3 25.3 27.1 26.6
Foreign Tourists
Jan-Mar 34.5 33.7 36.5 35.3
Apr-Jun 11.9 14.8 16.6 15.3
Jul-Sep 16.8 21.3 17.6 18.7
Oct-Dec 36.8 30.2 29.3 30.8
Note: 1. There is no significant change in the seasonality of domestic tourist arrivals over the 15 year period from 1987 to 2001.
2. However, the pattern of foreign tourist arrivals suggests a progressive decline in the share of the October – December period, with a corresponding increase during the April – June quarter.
Source: Tourist Statistics, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala


Exhibit 3.4
DISTRICT-WISE AND CENTRE-WISE TOURIST ARRIVALS TO KERALA (2000)
Tourist arrivals in numbers

District/Centre Domestic Foreign
1 Thiruvananthapuram 763,345 82,803
Thiruvananthapuram city 740,216 35,159
Kovalam 11,519 44,440
Others - Thiruvananthapuram 11,610 3,204
2 Kollam 96,103 8,997
3 Pathanamthitta 67,041 208
4 Alappuzha 127,719 12,013
Sub-Total: Southern Kerala 1,054,208 104,021
5 Kottayam 140,320 12,876
6 Idukki 209,639 24,842
Thekkady 166,970 21,543
Others - Idukki 42,669 3,299
7 Ernakulam 810,527 55,819
Kochi city 774,087 51,726
Others - Ernakulam 36,440 4,093
8 Thrissur 1,376,692 2,057
Thrissur city 255,731 1,804
Guruvayoor 1,120,961 253
9 Palakkad 300,888 1,517
Sub-Total: Central Kerala 2,838,066 97,111
10 Malappuram 241,740 856
11 Kozhikode 496,060 5,159
12 Wayanad 171,040 561
13 Kannur 76,565 1,415
14 Kasaragod 135,542 810
Sub-Total: Northern Kerala 1,120,947 8,801

TOTAL 5,013,221 209,933
Source: Tourist Statistics, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala



Exhibit 3.5
MOST POPULAR TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN KERALA AMONG DOMESTIC & FOREIGN TOURISTS


Rank Destination Visitors %
Domestic Tourists
1 Guruvayoor 37.0
2 Thiruvananthapuram 30.3
3 Kochi 23.3
4 Kozhikode 11.6
5 Thrissur 7.8
6 Palakkad 7.5
7 Thekkady 4.6
8 Kottayam 4.0
9 Kollam 2.7
10 Alappuzha 2.4
Foreign Tourists
1 Kochi 42.7
2 Kovalam 28.2
3 Thiruvananthapuram 27.5
4 Thekkady 10.8
5 Alappuzha 6.9
6 Kollam 4.7
7 Kottayam 4.2
8 Kozhikode 2.1
9 Thrissur 1.1
10 Palakkad 0.5
Note: 1. Visitors’ % column provides estimates of the average percentage of tourists to Kerala who visited the given destinations, based on available statistics for the period 1987 to 2001.
2. The data suggests that while domestic tourists tend to show interest in places of religious interest and general recreation, foreign tourists are more attracted to beaches, backwaters and wildlife sanctuaries.
Source: Tourist Statistics, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala


Exhibit 3.6
IMPORTANT COUNTRIES AND REGIONS OF ORIGIN FOR FOREIGN TOURIST ARRIVALS INTO KERALA (AVERAGE FOR THE YEARS 1998 TO 2000)

Rank Country Visitors %

1 U.K. 18.4
2 Maldives 9.8
3 U.S.A 8.6
4 Germany 8.2
5 France 7.0
6 Sri Lanka 6.3
7 Italy 3.7
8 Japan 3.6
9 Netherlands 3.2
10 Australia 3.1
11 Switzerland 3.1
12 Sweden 2.4
13 Canada 2.1
14 Belgium 1.6
15 Austria 1.6
16 Denmark 1.5
17 Spain 1.4
18 Singapore 1.2
19 New Zealand 1.0
20 Israel 1.0
21 Malaysia 1.0

Rank Region Visitors %

1 Europe 53.0
2 Asia 26.7
3 North America 11.0
4 Australia-New Zealand 4.1
5 Africa 0.5
6. Others/unknown 4.7
Note: Asia comprises: SAARC – 16.6 %; E./S.E. Asia – 6.7 %; W. Asia – 3.4 %
Source: Tourist Statistics, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala







Exhibit 3.7
CHANGING PATTERNS IN FOREIGN TOURIST ARRIVALS INTO KERALA FROM THE TRADITIONAL MARKETS OF EUROPE, NORTH AMERICA, JAPAN & AUSTRALIA
(TRENDS OVER THE PERIOD 1987 TO 2000)


Sl. No. Country Average visitors % for the period
1987 to 90 1991 to 95 1996 to 00
1 U.K. 15.5 17.0 18.8
2 U.S.A 6.9 7.4 8.5
3 Germany 13.3 10.7 8.2
4 France 8.3 7.5 6.5
5 Italy 7.2 4.6 3.7
6 Japan 3.3 3.0 3.3
7 Switzerland 3.8 2.9 2.9
8 Australia 3.7 2.5 2.8
9 Canada 2.3 2.0 2.0
10 Spain 1.2 1.6 1.5

Note: 1. There is an increase in the share of tourist arrivals from U.K. and U.S.A.
2. At the same time, there is a distinct decline in the share of tourist arrivals from some developed countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and Australia.
Source: Tourist Statistics, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala






Exhibit 3.8
FOREIGN TOURIST ARRIVALS INTO KERALA
– BY MODE OF ARRIVAL (%)

Year Mode of arrival (%)
Air Ship Road & Rail
1990 30.5 0.1 69.4
1991 35.3 0.1 64.6
1992 34.8 0.2 65.0
1993 34.2 3.5 62.2
1994 35.8 3.2 61.0
1995 34.8 2.7 62.5
1996 32.8 3.9 63.3
1997 35.6 2.9 61.6
1998 36.3 3.5 60.2
1999 31.1 3.7 65.2
2000 30.5 5.8 63.7
Average 33.6 3.2 63.1

Note: 1. About two-thirds of foreign tourists come to Kerala by road and rail, after entering India through other states.
2. Since 1993, there is a small but significant percentage of tourist arrivals by ship.
Source: Tourist Statistics, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala



Exhibit 3.9
YEAR WISE MODERATED TOURIST TRAFFIC PROJECTIONS
(2002-03 to 2021-22)
(Numbers)

Year Foreign tourist arrivals (5% annual growth) Domestic tourist arrivals (3.5% annual growth)
2001
(base year data) 208,830 5,239,692
Moderated tourist traffic projections
2002-03 219,000 5,423,000
2003-04 230,000 5,613,000
2004-05 242,000 5,809,000
2005-06 254,000 6,013,000
2006-07 267,000 6,223,000
2007-08 280,000 6,441,000
2008-09 294,000 6,666,000
2009-10 309,000 6,900,000
2010-11 324,000 7,141,000
2011-12 340,000 7,391,000
2012-13 357,000 7,650,000
2013-14 375,000 7,918,000
2014-15 394,000 8,195,000
2015-16 413,000 8,481,000
2016-17 434,000 8,778,000
2017-18 456,000 9,086,000
2018-19 479,000 9,404,000
2019-20 503,000 9,733,000
2020-21 528,000 10,073,000
2021-22 554,000 10,426,000


Exhibit 3.10
CARRYING CAPACITY – MEASUREMENT CRITERIA & CAPACITY NORMS

MEASUREMENT CRITERIA:
Each area and its type of tourism is unique, and the criteria for measuring carrying capacity would have to be specially defined for each place.
However, the broad approach recommended by WTO is outlined below as a ready reference checklist.
Two aspects need to be considered in determining carrying capacity:
1. Indigenous physical and social environment
2. Tourism image and tourist product (visitor satisfaction)
Under indigenous environment, criteria for determining optimum capacity levels include the following:
• Physical:
a) Acceptable levels of visual impact and congestion
b) Point up to which ecological systems are not damaged
c) Conservation of land and marine flora and fauna
d) Acceptable levels of air, water and noise pollution.

• Economic:
a) Extent of tourism that provides optimum overall economic benefit
b) Level of tourism employment suited to the local community

• Socio-cultural:
a) Extent of tourism that can be absorbed without detriment to the socio- cultural life styles and activities of the community
b) Level of tourism that will help maintain cultural monuments, arts, crafts, customs and traditions without detrimental effects.

• Infrastructure:
Adequate availability of –
a) Transportation facilities and services
b) Utility services (water, electricity, sewage & solid waste disposal, etc.)
c) Other community facilities and services related to health and public safety.
Contd...


Exhibit 3.10 (Contd...)

Criteria for determining carrying capacities relative to tourism image or visitor satisfaction levels include the following:
• Physical:
a) Overall cleanliness and pollution level of the destination environment
b) Congestion of the destination environment, including tourist attraction features
c) Attractiveness of landscape/townscape, including quality and character of architectural design
d) Maintenance of ecological systems of natural attraction features.

• Economic:
a) Cost of holiday and ‘value for money’.

• Socio-cultural:
a) Intrinsic interest of the indigenous community and culture
b) Quality of local arts, handicrafts, cuisine, cultural performance
c) Friendliness of residents.

• Infrastructure:
Adequate availability of –
a) Transportation facilities and services
b) Utility services
c) Other facilities and services.

Some criteria are measurable (e.g., environmental pollution, employment).
Certain criteria may set a maximum level (e.g., availability of water, developable land). Many criteria such as impact on cultural traditions can only be assessed qualitatively.
Analysis of final carrying capacity must establish a balance among positive and negative factors. Peak tourist demand period must be considered in calculating carrying capacities, though techniques may be used to even out seasonality.
Tourists may accept a higher saturation level in terms of crowding, for example, than do residents. Actual level of environmental damage may exceed both the residents’ and tourists’ perceptions of environmental impact.
Contd...


Exhibit 3.10 (Contd...)

Carrying capacity analysis does not replace environmental or socio- economic impact assessment or continuous monitoring of the impacts of tourism.

CAPACITY NORMS:

Some standards for rural and recreational activities cited by WTO are as follows, expressed in visitors per day per hectare, except where indicated otherwise:

Forest park : Up to 15
Suburban nature park : 15 to 70
High density picnicking : 300 to 600
Low density picnicking : 60 to 200
Sports/team games : 100 to 200
Golf : 10 to 15
Fishing/sailing : 5 to 30
Speed boating : 5 to 10
Water skiing : 5 to 15
Nature trails – hiking : 40 persons/day per km
Nature trails – horse riding : 25 to 80 persons/day per km.
Ski resorts : 100 skiers per hectare of trail ways

Capacity standard for beaches is discussed separately in the chapter on beach tourism.





Policy considerations & guidelines
Tourism Policy
a) should be in harmony with the basic objectives of developing tourism
b) must balance economic, social and environmental concerns.

Government’s Role
Government should play an active role in creating a structure for tourism development by way of:
a) setting forth objectives and policies
b) making budget provision for tourism marketing & promotion
c) adopting tourism-related legislation and regulations
d) strengthening access and other infrastructure
and most importantly, by
e) ensuring local community participation in decision making regarding tourism development in their region, and
f) providing a framework for promoting private sector investment in a wide gamut of tourism projects, thereby minimising government’s direct investment in the tourism sector.

However, in order to promote the larger objective of developing a new form of tourism or directing tourism to a less developed region of the state, the government may at times have to be prepared to make up-front investments in tourism projects and divest at an appropriate stage later on. An example in point is the development of the historic Baker’s Bungalow as a KTDC resort and its subsequent conversion to a joint sector project. This initiative played a notable role in the emergence of Kumarakom as a tourist destination.

Types of tourism to be developed would be a mix of
a) varieties of general interest tourism for the masses in situations that can sustain large scale tourist inflow
b) “quality” tourism with strictly controlled development aiming at high expenditure tourist markets in places that are ecologically or otherwise sensitive to large tourist inflows.


The State’s Role in Tourism Development
The Kerala Government increasingly seeks to play the role of a facilitator and catalyst, rather than that of an investor or operator in the tourism sector. Government plans to essentially focus on the following issues:
1. Marketing & promotion: Unique positioning and umbrella brand building for the State in the domestic and international markets in the light of increasing competition.
2. Ensuring sustainable development: Through appropriate legislation for ensuring quality, by laying down developmental guidelines, monitoring the activities and initiating corrective measures when needed.
3. Playing an active role in infrastructure development, i.e., transportation, water supply, electricity, etc. Increasing connectivity through facilitating air/rail connections.
4. Tourism friendly legislation - especially those related to taxation. Leisure tourism is largely price driven. If visitors have to pay a higher price for similar experiences available elsewhere at a lower price, they could be turned away.
However, some alternative views that merit attention are:
1. In the interest of long-term development, the government could come forward to take the lead in developing new destinations and products, which would not be immediately viable for the private sector to get into. The government may consider this as an investment, which will reap dividends in the future.
2. Private sector may be encouraged to play a more pro-active and responsible role in tourism marketing and promotion. A professionally managed Tourism Promotion Board with majority private sector representation could be established along the lines of the Singapore Tourism Promotion Board and Thailand Tourism Authority.

Kerala’s Tourism Policy
The Government of Kerala declared tourism as an industry in 1986, thus extending several incentives that were available to industrial investments to the tourism sector as well.
A Tourism Policy was formulated in 1998, whose objectives were:
1. To promote tourism with the tourist and the pilgrim as the focus
2. To provide special facilities to the religious, adventure and monument based traveler
3. To improve efficiency of the industry, for enhanced social and economic benefit
4. To ensure participation of all stake holders in society, including the travel trade & tourism industry
5. To provide quality services to all domestic & international consumers and stake holders


6. To prepare and implement Master Plans for integrated development and marketing of identified circuits
7. To improve, diversify and expand the marketing of the state’s tourism products.
A Tourism Investment Guidance Cell (including representatives from financing organisations like KSIDC and KFC) has been formed to provide an effective forum to guide potential investors in the tourism sector.

Incentive Schemes for tourism projects
Schemes and incentives offered by Kerala’s tourism department are listed at Exhibit 4.1. State investment subsidy for tourism projects, tourist centres identified under the Destination Kerala Scheme and electricity tariff subsidy for tourism projects are covered in Exhibits 4.2 to 4.4.
However, in the long term, the policy is to phase out all forms of financial incentives and concessions and attract investments based on merits, by providing the necessary basic infrastructure and facilities.

District Tourism Promotion Councils
The concept of District Tourism Promotion Councils (DTPC) is a unique feature of the tourism scenario in Kerala. It has received wide acclaim as a novel experiment in grass root level planning, implementation and operation of tourism projects.
DTPCs are organised as autonomous societies for decentralised tourism planning, with district as the primary unit. DTPCs have the District Collector as the Chairman, which facilitates quick decision making at the government level. Day-to-day operations are managed by a Secretary, who is guided by an Executive Committee (with non-official representatives, who have a commitment to the place) and assisted by support staff.
DTPCs have been primarily engaged in the following types of activities:
1. Proposing tourism and tourism-related infrastructure projects of relatively smaller magnitudes (such as children’s park, boating facility, aquarium, beautification/renovation of local tourist sites, etc.) to the tourism department for funding. Implementation is thereafter coordinated by DTPC through Nirmiti Kendras and line departments.
2. Operation of tourism projects such as tourist shelters, restaurants & cafeteria, boating, public parks, pay & use toilets, etc.
3. Creation of local awareness about benefits of tourism development through open forums, tourism clubs in schools/colleges and special campaigns.
4. Marketing of tourist sites in their respective local areas, organising local cultural/tourist festivals.


DTPC had a small beginning in Kollam in 1985 and was gradually extended to other districts. DTPCs are relatively more organised and active in districts such as Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Idukki and Kozhikode. Today, the assets of DTPCs are quite impressive. They have access to vast extent of vantage land that was available with the government, and have developed considerable infrastructure and tourist facilities.
Although excellent in their basic concept and approach, DTPCs have not been uniformly successful in all the districts. Some of the principal drawbacks are:
1. Decisions regarding selection of projects tend to get politicised rather than being taken based on objective evaluation of merits.
2. DTPCs are not professionally managed. Secretaries, executive committee members and other staff are at times not suitably oriented, trained or competent to handle the affairs in an appropriate manner. Accounts and audit systems too are not strong enough.
3. Overstaffing is also a serious problem. There are too many employees, many of whom are employed on ad hoc basis and are low paid. On regularisation, they become a substantial financial burden, without commensurate productive output.
At the time of field work in Kerala as part of this assignment, a Committee on Restructuring of DTPCs was in the process of carrying out a detailed analysis of the merits and demerits of DTPCs and a report was expected to be ready soon. However, a few quick observations would appear to be as follows:
1. The management of DTPCs needs to be professionalised. While policy decisions could be taken by political members, execution should be handled by qualified professionals in a systematised manner.
2. DTPCs should forge closer links with the local self governments and private organisations, and strengthen the system of public-private participation in decision making.
3. DTPCs could serve as nodal facilitation centres for tourists, as sources of guidance and support on all matters such as accommodation, transport, tourist guides, specific problems and difficulties, etc.
4. DTPCs should also be responsible for long term financial viability of the projects proposed by them, so that investments are made based on closer scrutiny.
5. There should be a balance between general infrastructure and revenue earning projects proposed by the DTPCs, so that DTPCs are better able to stand on their own feet.
6. Operations of tourism projects can also be selectively privatised, with DTPC earning a periodic lease/license fee.


Exhibit 4.1
SCHEMES AND INCENTIVES OFFERED BY KERALA’S TOURISM DEPARTMENT

Schemes offered by the Department of Tourism:
1. Approval of hotels (through Government of India)
2. Approval of restaurants (through Government of India)
3. Approval of motels
4. Approval of ayurveda centres
5. Approval of house boats
6. 'Grihasthali' for approval of heritage buildings
7. Approval of amusement parks, recreation centres, handicrafts emporia

Financial incentives for approved projects:
8. Investment subsidy limited to 10% subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10 lakhs
9. Concession in electricity charges
10. Support to avail loans from state financial corporations (KSIDC & KFC)
11. Guidance and publicity support from the State Government.


Exhibit 4.2
STATE INVESTMENT SUBSIDY FOR TOURISM PROJECTS
Ever since tourism was declared an industry in 1986, incentives that were available to investors in industrial sectors have also been extended to the tourism sector. The State Investment Subsidy at present is 10% of the investment, subject to a maximum ceiling limit of Rs. 10 lakhs.
Projects eligible for subsidies/concessions:
i) Classified hotels (approved by the State/Central Government)
ii) Motels (approved by Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala)
iii) Restaurants (approved by Government of India’s Classification Committee)
iv) Amusement parks & recreation centres (approved by Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala)
v) Rope ways at tourist centres
vi) Purchase of luxury cars (minimum of 5 cars), coaches, boats, aircraft, etc., by tour operators (approved by the State/Central Department of Tourism)
vii) Construction of koothambalam/auditorium, etc., by schools/institutions teaching Kalaripayattu and traditional art forms of Kerala
viii) Institutions teaching surfing, skiing, gliding, trekking and similar activities which promote tourism
ix) Ayurveda centres (approved by Kerala’s Tourism Department)
x) Building of traditional boats like chundan, iruttukuthy, veppu, kettuvallam
and houseboats
xi) Exclusive handicrafts emporia (approved by State/Central Department of Tourism)
• Ayurveda centres/hotels within the Corporation limits of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode will not be eligible for investment subsidy.
• Units that are enjoying any form of investment subsidy from any other department of the State/Central Government, will not be eligible for subsidy under this scheme.
• Investment subsidy will be available for new units and also for expansion of existing units.
The scheme of approval is restricted to projects located at the 24 tourist centres identified in the Destination Kerala Scheme of the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala.




Exhibit 4.3
TOURIST CENTRES LISTED IN THE DESTINATION KERALA SCHEME OF KERALA’S TOURISM DEPARTMENT



1. Thiruvananthapuram city 9. Thekkady 17. Parambikulam
2. Kovalam 10. Munnar 18. Nilambur
3. Ponmudi 11. Kochi city 19. Kozhikode city
4. Varkala 12. Kalady 20. Kappad
5. Kollam 13. Aluva 21. Kadalundi
6. Palaruvi 14. Guruvayoor 22. Wayanad
7. Alappuzha 15. Malampuzha 23. Muzhappilangad
8. Kumarakom 16. Nelliyampathy 24. Bekal




Exhibit 4.4
ELECTRICITY TARIFF SUBSIDY FOR SPECIFIED TOURISM PROJECTS

A five-year electricity tariff subsidy (to the extent of difference between commercial tariff and industrial tariff) is allowable to the following types of tourism projects:

• Classified hotels (1 to 5 star, 5 star deluxe, heritage)
• Motels (approved by Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala)
• Restaurants (approved by Classification Committee of Government of India)
• Amusement parks & recreation centres (approved by Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala)
• Rope ways at tourist centres
• Institutions teaching surfing, gliding, trekking and similar activities, which promote tourism (approved by Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala)
• Ayurveda centres with tourism potential (approved by Tourism Dept, Govt of Kerala)
• Heritage homes (approved by Tourism Dept, Govt of Kerala under Grihasthali scheme).

The tourism units which undertake expansion/modernisation after five years of availing concessional tariff, will be eligible for concessional tariff for a further period of five years for the additional electricity charges paid by the unit due to expansion/modernisation.


Source: Relevant Government Order dated September 26, 2000




The Kerala Government has recently adopted the ‘Tourism Vision 2025’, which sets the road map for long term tourism planning in the State. This has been drafted with considerable thought and careful deliberation, incorporating feedback from various stake holders. The Vision Document has been summarised below for ready reference.

Vision
To develop Kerala into an up-market tourist destination and to make use of tourism for socio-economic development in a sustainable manner, without harming the state’s environment, heritage and culture.

Vision Targets
1. To increase earnings from tourism at 10% annually.
2. To achieve an annual growth rate of 7% in foreign tourist arrivals and 9% in domestic tourist arrivals.
3. To create direct employment for 10,000 persons every year.
4. To add 200 hotel rooms in star categories every year.
5. To innovate and promote at least one new tourism product/destination every year.


SWOT Analysis

STRENGTHS
• Diverse attractions in a small land area
• Stable law & order, personal safety
• Good air, rail, road, telecom links
• Availability of high quality manpower
• Good brand image for targeting high spending tourists WEAKNESSES
• Weak institutional mechanism for ensuring sustainable development
• Inadequate civic amenities and infrastructure in tourist destinations
• Distance from major markets in India
• Limited international air connections
OPPORTUNITIES
• Untapped potential in heritage, back water, eco-friendly & health tourism
• Prospective private investors interested in investing in Kerala (including NRKs) THREATS
• Unbridled growth of tourism may result in environmental & cultural degradation
• Over-dependence on tourism could lead to economic recession


Strategy
Tourism is basically a private sector activity. The state will play the role of catalyst and facilitator.
1. Strengthen the tourism sector so to serve as the growth vehicle for the state’s socio-economic development.
2. Promote sustainable tourism focusing on conservation of heritage & culture.
3. Strengthen institutional mechanism for regulated development of tourism, by enacting appropriate legislation.
4. Guarantee quality services in all sectors of tourism
5. Government to concentrate on basic infrastructure through coordinated effort of all line departments.
6. Tourism infrastructure and products to be developed through private sector and private-public partnership, with government acting as a facilitator and catalyst.
7. Promote tourism products focusing on backwaters, ayurveda, performing arts, cuisine and eco-tourism.
8. Create adequate quantity & quality of requisite human resources in the State.
9. Explore and develop new international and domestic markets for Kerala.

Action Plan
Action plans are listed corresponding to the strategy outlined above. Long term or overall action plans are highlighted in bold.
1. Strengthen the tourism sector so to serve as the growth vehicle for the state’s socio-economic development.
• Create an apex body to sort out inter-sectoral issues for development of tourism
• Conduct scientific studies on impact of tourism on income and employment through Tourism Satellite Accounting
• Strengthen the collection of statistics on tourist arrivals and tourist profile
• Conduct studies on potential of tourism sector compared to other sectors of the economy and also on inter-sectoral issues affecting tourism development
• Conduct public awareness campaign about benefits of tourism through local bodies, District Tourism Promotion Councils and through the general education system
• Department of Tourism to function as the nodal agency in coordinating all activities related to tourism, undertaken by diverse agencies; professionalise its functioning

2. Promote sustainable tourism focusing on conservation of heritage & culture.
• Introduce legislation to conserve and preserve cultural and heritage properties
• Work with INTACH, Art & Heritage Commission, etc., to synergise tourism and culture. Ensure that culture is not degraded by commercialisation
• Educate the public on heritage conservation in partnership with industry


3. Strengthen institutional mechanism for regulated development of quality tourism, by enacting appropriate legislation.
• Enact Tourism Conservation and Preservation Act, outlining planning, building and waste disposal regulations
• Identify Special Tourism Zones and enforce the Act to regulate development
• Encourage industry associations to impose self-regulations to prevent unethical activities
• Involve local people in the planning and implementation stages of all projects
• Assess carrying capacities of all tourist centres, prepare area development plans and regulate development accordingly
• Make environment impact assessment a pre-requisite for clearance of all major projects
• Revise laws on entertainment tax, luxury tax, sales tax, building tax, etc., to incorporate provisions for encouraging investors
• Restructure Kerala Tourism Development Corporation
• Stop District Tourism Promotion Councils from direct management of facilities. Identify new role for DTPCs in regulation and quality control
• Review plans and their implementation periodically

4. Guarantee quality services in all sectors of tourism
• Create an approval system for tourism units – accommodation, tour operation, tourist transportation, ayurveda centres, house boats, recreation centres, etc., - as a symbol of quality
• Only approved units will find place in the Tourism Department’s publicity material and will be eligible for any concessions and incentives offered by the government
• Encourage existing units to upgrade quality through enforcement of relevant legislation, wherever applicable
• Allow only tourism units approved by the Tourism Department to function in the name of tourism in the State

5. Government to concentrate on basic infrastructure through coordinated effort of all line departments.
• Implement basic infrastructure projects in tourist destinations – particularly water supply, solid & liquid waste disposal system - either directly or through line departments by giving financial assistance, if needed
• Identify all major tourist roads, prepare a project report and pose for external financial assistance
• Co-ordinate with other states, with the Government of India and with international tourism bodies like WTO, WTTC and financial bodies like UNDP, World Bank, ADB, etc., for seeking assistance in tourism development
• Develop direct air connections from all major tourism markets to the three international airports in the State
• Apex Body on tourism to meet regularly and address any issues related to provision of basic infrastructure to tourism units


6. Tourism infrastructure and products to be developed through private sector and private-public partnership, with government acting as a facilitator and catalyst.
• Introduce single window clearance for tourism projects and simplify procedures
• Establish separate cell in financial institutions (KSIDC and KFC) for tourism for fast clearance of tourism projects
• Launch special campaigns for NRI investments in tourism
• Encourage investors to take up connectivity projects between tourist destinations within the State by air and road. Develop major tourism roads on BOT basis
• Try joint venture with major hotel chains in the country
• Ensure withdrawal of government from direct running of all tourism business activities
• Withdraw all financial investments to private sector and encourage investments in a competitive environment
7. Promote tourism products focusing on backwaters, ayurveda, performing arts, cuisine and eco-tourism.
Backwaters
• Construct boat terminals and waterside facility centres along houseboat cruise routes from Kollam to Ernakulam
• Disperse backwater tourism to Malabar region by developing infrastructure at Chettuva, Kadalundi, Kozhikode, Parassinikkadavu, Neeleswaram, Valiyaparamba, etc.
• Prepare a master plan for sustainable development of backwater tourism. Formulate a Backwater Tourism Development Authority with representatives from all stake holders to coordinate development for the sustainable use of backwaters for tourism
• Institute annual award for most innovative backwater tourism product
• Encourage quality upgradation of houseboats through incentives
• Regulate activity along backwaters with respect to setbacks from the water front, design of buildings, solid waste and sewage disposal, etc.
• Stop discharging sewage directly from tourism boats by enforcing usage of alternative methods
• Link the waterways from Kovalam to Kasargod to enable operation of tourist boats including houseboats
• Develop boat terminals, jetties, waterside facilities, fuel pumping stations, sewage pumping stations, etc., along the entire waterway route
• Inter link all the major backwater nodes through road networks to enable easy transits
• Establish proper solid and liquid waste water disposal system for the entire back waters so as to protect/enhance the quality of their ecology and environment
Ayurveda
• Strengthen the approval system and introduce a classification system to grade ayurveda centres based on the quality of facilities and services
• Constitute a committee comprising all stake holders to constantly review the implications of using ayurveda as a tourism product


• Allow only ayurveda centres approved by the tourism department to function at tourism centres in the name of tourism
• Educate tourists about genuine ayurveda Eco-tourism
• Formulate an eco-tourism strategy for Kerala through participatory planning
process
• Establish environment education centre and deer information centre at Thenmala, start trekking programme and bird watching trails, evolve strategy to attract private investment
• Initiate one-day eco-tourism programme near Kallar Valley, Ponmudi and at Palaruvi
• Initiate eco-tourism programme at Konni and Achankovil, followed by Pampa and Kochu Pampa backwaters, Wayanad and Idukki
• Empower local people to benefit from emerging economic opportunities
• Make special efforts to develop eco-tourism in tourist zones of forest areas in a manner that would help to conserve the forests
• Develop pilgrim circuit connecting the Ayyappa temples at Kulathupuzha, Aryankavu and Achankovil
• Develop plantation tourism involving public sectors, Oil Palm India Ltd and Rehabilitation Plantation Ltd, which fall in the region of Thenmala eco-tourism
• Evolve a strategy to coordinate all departments and the private sector to synergise the development of eco-tourism and ensure its proper monitoring
• Market eco-tourism products of Kerala in international forums as a distinct segment
8. Create adequate quantity and quality of requisite human resources within the State.
• Strengthen KITTS, KIHMS and IHMCT to start new courses directly benefiting the tourism industry
• Conduct continuous training programmes for taxi drivers, cooks, waiters, guides, information officers/assistants, etc.
• Encourage starting of new institutions with quality standards in the private sector
• Create a Board to regulate and approve institutions conducting tourism related courses
• Open an institution of international repute in the State to train quality managerial manpower for the tourism sector
• Create the best trained personnel in the tourism industry to cater to the needs both inside and outside the State
9. Explore and develop new markets for Kerala at domestic and international levels.
• Focus on Europe, US, Japan, Gulf and domestic markets and strengthen marketing in the high yielding segments
• Synergise with other South Asian countries to attract more regional tourists
• Acknowledge the emerging economic super power status of China to attract more tourists



Kerala Government’s Tenth Plan proposals for the tourism sector reflect the translation of the Vision Document into an envisaged action plan spread over the coming five years and therefore merit attention.
Large outlays towards tourism & general infrastructure
Kerala has taken the lead among Indian states in making substantial allocations in the State’s five-year plans for the tourism sector. A brief summary of Kerala’s Ninth Plan outlay for tourism is tabulated at Exhibit 6.1.
The State’s proposed allocation for tourism in the Tenth Five Year Plan is over Rs.900 crores, which is a more than four-fold increase over the Rs.200 crores outlay during the Ninth Plan. Details of the draft proposals (prior to formal approval) for the Tenth Plan period are presented at Exhibit 6.2.
The proposed expenditures on tourism by Kerala are an order of magnitude higher than that envisaged by most of the much larger states as well.
But one has to note that more than half the envisaged expenditure (Rs.500 crores) is towards general infrastructure such as roads, water supply, sanitation, solid waste management, etc., that would be implemented through various line departments. Net of these proposals, the budget towards tourism as such would appear substantially lower, though still being far ahead of many other states.
Providing for expenditure on general infrastructure projects in tourist centres under the tourism budget, helps these proposals to receive priority. However, this overriding of the normal process of prioritising general infrastructure projects is justifiable, provided the infrastructure created has multiple use and tourism generates surpluses to finance developmental projects for more deserving areas
Sectoral and regional distribution of proposed outlays
Though not exactly quantifiable, the proposed allocation towards different tourism sectors appears to be distributed as follows:

Hills & hill stations : 35 % Beaches : 10 %
Backwaters : 25 % Forests & wildlife : 5 %
Heritage & culture : 25 %
In a broad sense, the region-wise allocation would be approximately as below:

Southern Kerala
(Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta & Alappuzha districts) 40 %
Central Kerala
(Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur & Palakkad districts) 45 %
Northern Kerala
(Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts) 15 %


Exhibit 6.1
KERALA’S NINTH PLAN OUTLAY FOR THE TOURISM SECTOR
- A SUMMARY

(Rs. crores)

Annual Year Approved Actual
1997-98 35.00 34.97
1998-99 36.00 37.22
1999-00 36.00 34.97
2000-01 45.50 50.01
2001-02 39.66 47.00
TOTAL 192.16 204.17


The tourism department has focused on:
• Infrastructure development at tourist centres
• Development of beach and hill resorts
• Promoting backwater tourism through integrated development of backwaters and waterways
• Improvement of pilgrim facilities
• Taking up conservation of heritage sites
• Introduction of eco-tourism

Source: State Planning Commission, Government of Kerala


Exhibit 6.2
KERALA’S TENTH PLAN OUTLAY FOR THE TOURISM SECTOR
( D R A F T - 2002-03 TO 2006-07)
(Rs. crores)
Particulars Outlay for
2002-03 Total
plan outlay Note
1. Tourist accommodation – guest houses 3.00 20.00 1
2. Kerala Tourism Development Corpn (KTDC) 0.01 1.00 2
3. Tourism Resorts (Kerala) Ltd (TRKL) 4.50 60.00 3
4. Bekal Resorts Development Corpn (BRDC) 2.00 20.00 4
5. Schemes for upgradation & creation of infrastructure at tourist centres:
(A) Implementation by tourism department
Implementation by line departments

12.00
30.00

152.00
500.00

5.A
5.B
6. Conservation, preservation & promotion of heritage, environment & culture 3.50 20.00 6
7. Development of eco-tourism products 1.00 5.00 7
8. Matching grants for schemes sponsored by Govt of India 6.00 60.00 8
9. Studies on tourism impact 0.50 3.00
10. Incentives for private sector (subsidies, etc.) 2.99 10.00
11. Strengthening & modernisation of tourism institutions (training/studies) 1.00 5.00
12. Marketing (promotions, trade fairs, travel marts, road shows, audio visuals) 10.00 40.00
13. District Tourism Promotion Councils
(small magnitude promotion) 2.50 10.00
14. KITTS & KIHMS (Language lab, computers, library, kitchen & bakery eqpt, front office trg eqpt) 1.00 5.00
TOTAL 80.00 911.00

Note Explanation
1 Provides for only improvement of existing guest houses and completion of ongoing projects such as guest house at Palakkad and additional guest house at Ernakulam. No new projects.
2 Token provision during 2002-03
3 For investing in joint ventures –land bank project, golf course & innovative water sports projects
4 Government’s role is to develop quality infrastructure, drinking water and hygienic environment and promote the destination. BRDC has already been provided Rs.35 crores by the State so far.
5.A Refer List A 5.B Refer List B 6 Refer List C


7 2002-03 outlay is for new eco-tourism products at Wayanad, Idukki, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram districts; to make wildlife sanctuaries at Periyar, Muthanga, Tholpetty, Peppara, Shenduruny, etc., more tourist friendly; also for trekking, rock climbing, necessary infrastructure support for plantation and farm based tourist activities
Tenth plan outlay is for development of new eco-tourism destinations, wild life sanctuaries and to promote plantation and farm based tourism activities
8 Refer List D


LIST A: Infrastructure projects to be implemented by Tourism Department
1. Vagamon: Site development, development of facilitation centre, public amenities, lighting, signages, trekking routes, camping sites, botanical garden, organic garden, spice garden, fruit orchard, picnic grounds, parks, garden, etc.
2. Thiruvananthapuram: Theerapadam urban renewal project and public amenity centres
3. Kovalam: Beach renewal project, walkways, lighting, signages, public facilitation centres, beautification of beaches and surroundings, etc.
4. Ponmudi: Development of sites, wayside facilities, lighting and signages, trekking paths, camping sites, etc.
5. Munnar: Renewal of town centre, development of auxiliary tourist centres, etc.
6. Thekkady: Renewal of town centre, improving boating facilities and facilitation centres
7. Kochi: Beautification of town, lighting of backwater front and signages, construction of jetties, waterside amenities and water front development; development of Fort Kochi-Mattanchery area and beaches, etc.
8. Ashtamudi: Construction of boat terminals, water junction and jetties, etc.
9. Backwaters: Improvement of canals, development of boat terminals/jetties, water side facilities, lighting, signages, improving connectivity, resort infrastructure development, etc.
10. Varkala: Beach beautification, infrastructure development, etc.
11. Kumarakom: Development of facilitation centre, bus station, waterside facilities, internal roads and other infrastructure, etc.
12. Kozhikode: Beach development, amusement park project, development of auxiliary facilities, etc.
13. Wayanad: Renewal of town centre, development of auxiliary tourist centres, facilitation centres, information centres, lighting, signages, etc.
14. General:
• Development of facilitation centres and pay & use toilets all along major tourism corridors in the State
• Development of water sports, adventure sports, trekking, etc.
• Expenditure towards ensuring quality in tourism products and services
• During 2002-03, selected infrastructure projects are proposed to be taken up for development of innovative tourism products based on action plan to be prepared by the tourism department.


LIST B: Infrastructure projects to be undertaken through line departments
(Rs. crores)
Project Executing
agency Outlay for
2002-03 Total plan
Outlay
1. VAGAMON
Improvement of Thekkady – Munnar road PWD (roads) 5.00 10.00
Improvement of Ullupooni – Moolamattom road PWD (roads) 3.00 5.00
Improvement of Vagamon – Kuttikkanam road PWD (roads) 5.00 8.00
Development of Upputhara – Vagamon road PWD (roads) 3.00 5.00
Development of water supply KWA -- 10.00
Sewage disposal schemes KWA -- 5.00
Development of 33 KV substation KSEB -- 10.00
Development of bus shelters, parking lots Local Self Govt 0.25 2.00
Development of shopping centres Local Self Govt -- 2.00
Development of fire station, medical
clinic, police station, etc. Local Self Govt -- 1.00
TOTAL 16.25 58.00

(Rs. crores)

Project Executing
agency Outlay for
2002-03 Total plan
outlay
2. THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
Improvement of storm water drainage, foot paths and city roads PWD (roads) 10.00
Development of parking lots PWD (roads) 1.00
Cleaning of canals for Theerapadam Irrigation 10.00
Land acquisition, mechanical cleaning, etc., for Theerapadam Urban development 50.00
Sewage disposal KWA 10.00
Cleaning of public areas Local Self Govt 1.00
TOTAL 82.00



(Rs. crores)
Project Executing
agency Outlay for
2002-03 Total plan
outlay
3. KOVALAM
Road connection to sea coast from NH 47 PWD (roads) -- 5.00
Water supply augmentation scheme KWA/LSG 5.00 10.00
Upgrading power supply KSEB -- 10.00
Solid & liquid waste management, cleaning of beaches & surroundings Local Self Govt
1.00 2.00
Development of parking lots Local Self Govt 2.00
TOTAL 6.00 29.00

(Rs. crores)

Project Executing
agency Outlay for
2002-03 Total plan
outlay
4. PONMUDI
Development of Thiruvananthapuram – Ponmudi road PWD (roads) 20.00
Water supply augmentation KWA 5.00
TOTAL 25.00

(Rs. crores)

Project Executing
agency Outlay for
2002-03 Total plan
outlay
5. MUNNAR
Road widening & improvement PWD (roads) -- 10.00
Solid & liquid waste management KWA -- 5.00
Water supply augmentation KWA 1.00 5.00
Power supply augmentation KSEB -- 5.00
Public amenities, parking, etc. Local Self Govt 0.50 2.00
Cleaning of public areas Local Self Govt 1.00
TOTAL 1.50 28.00




(Rs. crores)
Project Executing
agency Outlay for
2002-03 Total plan
outlay
6. THEKKADY
Widening & improvement of K K road PWD (roads) 10.00
Solid & liquid waste management KWA 5.00
Water supply augmentation KWA 2.00
Public amenities, parking, etc. Local Self Govt 2.00
Cleaning of public areas Local Self Govt 1.00
TOTAL 20.00

(Rs. crores)

Project Executing agency Outlay for 2002-03 Total plan outlay
7. KOCHI
Improvement of city roads and drainages
(Fort Kochi – Mattanchery area in the first phase)
PWD (roads)
2.50
25.00
Solid & liquid waste management KWA -- 10.00
Public amenities, parking, etc. Local Self Govt -- 2.00
Cleaning of public areas Local Self Govt -- 1.00
TOTAL 2.50 38.00

(Rs. crores)

Project Executing agency Outlay for 2002-03 Total plan outlay
8. ASHTAMUDI – KOLLAM
Improvement of roads leading to
backwaters PWD (roads) 2.00
Improvement of canals Irrigation 5.00
Solid & liquid waste management KWA 5.00
Public amenities, parking, etc. Local Self Govt 2.00
Cleaning of public areas Local Self Govt 1.00
TOTAL 15.00



(Rs. crores)
Project Executing
agency Outlay for
2002-03 Total plan
outlay
9. BACKWATERS
Improvement of road connectivity PWD (roads) -- 15.00
Improvement of canals Irrigation 1.75 25.00
Improvement of tunnels Irrigation -- 5.00
Drinking water facilities KWA -- 5.00
Power for major water junctions KSEB -- 10.00
Public amenities, parking, etc. Local Self Govt -- 2.00
Cleaning of public areas Local Self Govt -- 1.00
TOTAL 1.75 63.00

(Rs. crores)

Project Executing
agency Outlay for
2002-03 Total plan
outlay
10. VARKALA
Development of roads, drainages, etc. PWD (roads) 10.00
Solid & liquid waste management KWA 5.00
Public amenities, parking, etc. Local Self Govt 4.00
Cleaning of public areas Local Self Govt 1.00
TOTAL 20.00

(Rs. crores)

Project Executing
agency Outlay for
2002-03 Total plan
outlay
11. KUMARAKOM
Development of Kottayam – Kumarakom
road PWD (roads) 5.00
Improvement of canals Irrigation 10.00
Water supply scheme KWA 25.00
Solid & liquid waste management KWA 10.00
Public amenities, parking, etc. Local Self Govt 2.00
Cleaning of public areas Local Self Govt 1.00
TOTAL 53.00




(Rs. crores)
Project Executing
agency Outlay for
2002-03 Total plan
outlay
12. KOZHIKODE
Improvement of city roads PWD (roads) 8.00
Solid & liquid waste management KWA 10.00
Public amenities, parking, etc. Local Self Govt 2.00
Cleaning of public areas Local Self Govt 1.00
TOTAL 21.00

(Rs. crores)

Project Executing agency Outlay for 2002-03 Total plan outlay
13. WAYANAD
Widening & Improvement of roads leading
to tourist destinations PWD (roads) 20.00
Water supply augmentation at tourist destinations KWA 5.00
Solid & liquid waste management KWA 5.00
Power supply augmentation at tourist destinations KSEB 5.00
Public amenities, parking, etc. Local Self Govt 2.00
Cleaning of public areas Local Self Govt 1.00
TOTAL 38.00


(Rs. crores)

Project Executing
agency Outlay for
2002-03 Total plan
outlay
14. SABARIMALA
Development of bye pass road to Sabarimala from Kilimanoor without
touching Kottarakara and Adoor
PWD (roads)
2.00
10.00
TOTAL 2.00 10.00

GRAND TOTAL OF ABOVE 30.00 500.00


LIST C: Projects for conservation, preservation & promotion of heritage, environment and culture
Objectives of Tenth Plan outlay:
Conducting carrying capacity studies and preparation of planning guidelines to conserve the heritage and environment of all major tourist centres
Conservation, preservation and restoration of heritage properties
Financial assistance for restoration/renovation of heritage buildings owned by private parties
Promotion of local cultural programmes, fairs, festivals and boat races Development of cultural complexes at major tourist centres

Projects under annual outlay for 2002-03
• Carrying capacity study and planning guidelines for tourist destinations
• Conservation, preservation and restoration of heritage properties such as: Kanakakunnu Palace & heritage walk through Fort area, Thiruvananthapuram Fort Kochi area and various properties at Fort Kochi
Hill Palace, Thrippunithura Kalpathy area of Palakkad Thazhathangadi at Kottayam
Chennamangalam heritage area in Ernakulam district Jatayupara rock in Kollam district
Kottakkal and other places
• Under this scheme, restoration/renovation of heritage buildings owned by private parties, promotion of local cultural programmes, fairs, festivals and boat races and development of cultural complexes at major tourist centres are also included.

LIST D: Matching grants for schemes sponsored by Government of India
Each year the Government of India sanctions a good number of schemes with partial financial assistance. Balance amount is spent by the state government.
Outlay for 2002-03 is for meeting the State’s share against the Rs.14 crores prioritised projects sanctioned by the Government of India during 2001-02:
Development of multi-purpose tourist complex at Vallarpadam Innovative water sports – procurement of yacht for sea voyage
Innovative water sports – procurement of power boats and two-seater micro speed boats Construction of Kerala Paryatan Bhavan at Fort Kochi
Development of walkway along backwater shore at Kochi Jetties in Kochi backwaters
Malampuzha illumination
Scientific sewage disposal of houseboats Landscaping at Kanjirampuzha dam Wayside amenity at Punalur
Pilgrims amenity centre at Kulanada House boat at Chettuva
Preparation of tourism master plans for special tourism zones of Kovalam, Munnar, Eco- city project at Kumarakom

Source: State Planning Commission, Government of Kerala



This chapter provides an overview of important tourism projects in Kerala that are implemented or initiated by the Government, including those recently completed, ongoing and proposed. These details supplement Kerala Government’s Tenth Five Year Plan proposals for tourism, covered in the previous chapter.
Exhibit 7.1 highlights the status of projects completed recently or under progress with Kerala’s Tourism Department. A list of projects recently implemented/being implemented with central government assistance is given at Exhibit 7.2. Even individual districts have impressive lists of projects under various stages of planning and implementation, by various agencies. Exhibits 7.3 and 7.4 provide examples of tourism projects in Ernakulam and Thrissur districts respectively. Master Plans are also drawn up for individual tourist destinations. An example of this is the proposed development of Neyyar Dam explained in Exhibit 7.5.
Exhibit 7.6 lists the tourism, entertainment and real estate projects for which KSIDC has invited expressions of interest from project developers in the context of the Global Investors Meet to be held in January 2003.
As observed in the previous chapter, Kerala’s Tenth Five-Year Plan’s proposals for tourism envisage a total investment of over Rs.800 crores in numerous projects. Of this, Rs.500 crores are earmarked for tourism-related general infrastructure projects and more than Rs.300 crores towards tourism projects.
Further, the private sector too would implement many projects, particularly in the field of hotels, resorts, ayurvedic centres, theme parks, etc. Tourism is primarily a private sector activity. Going by the norm that the private sector would invest four times that invested by the government, total private sector investments into tourism over the next five years should be of the order of Rs.1200 crores.
Investments in tourism would have to continue further on a scale comparable to or even larger than that proposed over the next five years. The essential difference would be that a greater proportion of investments, including that towards tourism-related infrastructure should come from the private sector.
Several tourism project concepts and ideas and broad directions for the same have been touched upon in Chapters XII to XVII of this Document. Likewise, tourist accommodation requirements and infrastructure projects find a mention in Chapters VIII and IX respectively.
It would not be quite meaningful to categorically decide upon individual projects beyond a five-year time horizon. Project proposals from prospective investors can be evaluated for their consonance with development guidelines, and decisions taken based on technical and financial feasibility at the time of actual investment.


Exhibit 7.1
STATUS OF KERALA GOVERNMENT’S TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
A. DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT
1. Development of Veli as an International Tourist Center
25 acres of land has been acquired at Veli tourist village for developing an amusement park, oceanarium and dolphinarium of international standards through private participation.
2. Thenmala as an International Eco-tourism Destination
First phase of the project comprising a sculpture garden, amphitheatre, musical fountain, suspension footbridge, etc., was commissioned in December 2000.
3. Development of Kannur as a Major Tourist Destination in Malabar
Muzhappilangad and Payyambalam beaches have been developed to attract domestic and international tourists. Meenkunnu, Dharmadam island, Thalassery fort and Kannur fort have also been developed as part of this project.
4. Face Lifting of Kovalam Beach Resort
Development of roads, pathways, lighting and signages have been undertaken. Beach cleaning and lifeguard services are regularly offered. Guidelines have been prepared by the Town & Country Planning Department for controlled development of the destination.
5. Integrated Development of Fort Kochi
The partially commissioned project components include construction of boat jetty, tourist amenity centre, food courts, area improvement schemes, beach side development, lighting, signages, etc. This project also includes construction of a Paryatan Bhavan comprising tourist bus stand, shops, public toilets and counters for tour operators, travel agents and hoteliers. Plan allocation has been made for this project components during the current year (2002-03).
6. Development of Pathiramanal as an International Backwater Resort
Tourist Resorts (Kerala) Limited (TRKL) – government’s nodal agency for promoting private sector investment in tourism – has formed a joint venture company, Oberoi Kerala Hotel & Resorts Ltd (OKHRL) in association with the Oberoi Group. OKHRL is slated to implement this project.
Contd...


Exhibit 7.1 (Contd...)

7. Development of Vagamon as an International Hill Resort
751 hectares of land have been transferred from the Kerala Livestock Development Board to the Tourism Department. An International Hill Resort with star hotels, golf course, helipad, etc., is proposed to be developed with private participation in accordance with a master plan. Upgradation of access roads, water supply, electricity substation, etc., is planned to be taken care of by the government.

B. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
1. Intensive Backwater Development Status of various projects is as follows:
a) World class house boat terminals at major backwater nodes:
• Construction of house boat terminal at Kumarakom is in progress.
• Land acquisition for house boat terminals at Alappuzha and Thaneermukkom.
b) Integrated development of Pamba-Kuttanad backwater region:
• Government of India has sanctioned construction of tourist resorts at Pallathuruthy, Nedumudi, Kotharathode and Vattakkayal. Land acquisition at all these centres is on.
c) Integrated development of Ashtamudi backwaters:
• Construction of Gateway Centre at Kollam is under way.
• Water sports activities are being taken up in Ashtamudi backwaters with central government assistance.
• Waterside amenities at Anandavalleeswaram and Kannettil are being taken up.
d) Dispersal of backwater based tourism to Malabar area:
• House boats have been sanctioned to Neeleswaram, Parassinikkadavu, Kozhikode and Chettuva.
• Valiyaparamba is being developed as a major backwater centre.
• Action is on for the development of basic infrastructure along potential cruise routes.
e) Development of Kovalam-Kollam waterway for house boat operation:
• Detailed study has been carried out. First phase of the project from Kovalam to Akkulam is being taken up by the Irrigation Department.

Contd...


Exhibit 7.1 (Contd...)
f) Development of transit points along cruise routes:
• Construction of waterside amenities at Kayamkulam and Alumkadavu is on.

2. Development of Budget Accommodation Facilities at Tourist/Pilgrim Centres
a) Construction of Tourist Resorts at Paravur and Athirapally, and of Yatri Nivas at Malayattur, Peerumedu, Changanassery and Kozhikode has been completed.
b) Construction of Yatri Nivas at Kalady, Guruvayur, Nelliampathy, Thirunelly, Kondotty, Munnar and Mannarkad is in progress.
c) Construction of pilgrims amenity centres at Erumeli and Kulanada has started.
3. Tourist Reception & Facilitation Centres
a) Construction of tourist reception centre at Nedumbassery international airport (Kochi) has been completed.
b) Construction of tourist reception & facilitation centres at Munnar, Vythiri, Thekkady and Varkala is being take up.
4. Tourism Roads
a) Basic improvements to Thekkady-Munnar road, Thekkady-Kumily road and tourism roads in Wayanad and Kollam districts have been completed.
5. Integrated Development of Museums
a) Action has been initiated for the development of Napier Museum in Thiruvananthapuram and Hill Palace Museum in Thrippunithura with central government assistance.
6. Illumination of Historical Buildings
a) Landscaping of Kanakakunnu palace gardens and construction of Sooriyakanthy Exhibition grounds on the palace premises, have been completed. A sound & light show project has been sanctioned.
b) A project for illumination of VJT Hall has been sanctioned. 7. Development of Potential Dam-Sites for Tourism Activities
a) Kanjirapuzha dam site has been developed into a new tourist destination
after landscaping the surroundings.

Main Source: Economic Review of Kerala, 1999-2000 & 2000-01 (Tourism Department, Government of Kerala)



Exhibit 7.2
IMPORTANT PROJECTS IMPLEMENTED/BEING IMPLEMENTED WITH CENTRAL GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE

Important projects implemented/being implemented in recent times with central government assistance include the following. Estimated project costs are given in brackets for some of the projects.

1. Waterside amenities on Pamba-Kuttanad backwaters at Pallathuruthy, Nedumudi, Kotharathode and Vattakkayal. Rest houses with 10 rooms, restaurants & communication facilities (Rs.295 lakhs)
2. Development of water sports in Ashtamudi lake and other places (Rs 125 lakhs)
3. Renovation of boat jetty near Subash Park into a state-of-the-art landing site. Development of boat jetties at Ernakulam wharf and Mattancherry (Rs 125 lakhs)
4. Development of a walkway along the backwaters in Kochi (Rs 125 lakhs)
5. House boats for the Malabar region (Rs 25 lakhs)
6. Floating restaurant at Pathiramanal
7. Projects related to boat race – Nehru, Aranmula boat races (Rs. 106.32 lakhs)
8. Yatri Nivas with 10 rooms & restaurant at Mannarkad (Rs.97.2 lakhs)
9. Yatri Nivas at Munnar with 10 rooms, two VIP suites and a restaurant
10. Development of Mattancherry-Fort Kochi as a heritage destination (Rs.98 lakhs)
11. Bolghatty Palace restoration & landscaping (Rs 26.27 lakh)
12. Renovation of Hill Palace Museum at Thrippunithura and preservation of manuscripts using electronic equipment (Rs.105.8 lakhs)
13. Renovation of Napier Museum at Thiruvananthapuram (Rs. 50 lakhs)
14. Restoration of heritage buildings at Chennamangalam (Rs 16.65 lakh)
15. Aluva Palace modification (Rs 9.5 lakh)
16. Initial expenditure towards development of golf course, hotel and helipad on 2,000 acres of land at Vagamon (Rs. 50 lakhs)
17. KTDC’s ayurveda centre at Kumarakom (Rs.25 lakhs)
18. KTDC’s ayurveda centre at Bolghatty Palace, Kochi (Rs.25 lakhs)
19. Improvement of Kalady River ghat (Rs 25 lakh)
20. Tourist reception centres at Thekkady, Munnar & Vythiri
21. Trekking at Thenmala eco-tourism project (Rs 3.3 lakhs)


Exhibit 7.3
TOURISM PROJECTS FOR ERNAKULAM DISTRICT

Kerala government’s projects:
The Kerala state government has about a dozen tourism projects for Kochi, totally costing around Rs. 113 crores. The important projects are listed below. Cost estimates of individual projects are mentioned in brackets.
1. Preservation of Mattanchery and Jew Town (Rs. 5 crores)
2. Construction of food courts at Broadway (Rs.1.2 crores)
3. Tourism complex at Vallarpadam (Rs.12 crores)
4. Extension of Marine Drive walkway up to Subash Park (Rs.0.80 crores)
5. Preservation of Chennamangalam Heritage Village (Rs.4 crores)
6. Integrated development of Kalady and Malayattoor pilgrim centres
7. Development of Kumbalangi island boat jetties (Rs 5 crores); water supply scheme and internal roads of the island (Rs 10 crores each)
8. Innovative water sports (Rs.2.67 crores)
9. Golf course (Rs.12 crores)

Ernakulam DTPC’s projects:
Ernakulam DTPC has taken up numerous projects for Kochi during 2002, which are recently completed or planned to be completed shortly. The cost estimates are given in brackets.
1. Beautification of Durbar Hall ground (Rs 50 lakhs)
2. Chinese net bridge, linking Children’s Park and Taj Boat Jetty on the Marine walkway (Rs 32 lakhs)
3. Musical fountain at Priyadarshini Children’s Park/Subash Park (Rs 23 lakhs)
4. Detailed city map of Kochi (Rs 30 lakhs)
5. Backwater boat service modeled after the Italian Gondola

Kochi Corporation and district administration’s projects:
In addition, the Kochi Corporation plans to erect a Queen of Arabian Sea statue at Marine Drive and also a rope way. Further, the district administration plans restoration of two landmarks - General Hospital and Maharaja’s College - situated next to each other. Rs 2-crore heritage protection project for the Maharaja College is aimed at restoring its lost glory and architectural splendour.


Contd...


Exhibit 7.3 (Contd...)

Global Tourist Village at Nedumbassery:
KSIDC has signed an MOU with the Bahrain based Mahnami Hotels & Resorts for the establishment of an international tourist village at Nedumbassery, near Kochi. The Rs.33 crore village will spread over an area of 24 acres. The Bahrain- based Mohammed Salahuddin Consulting Engineering Bureau will design and execute the project. The village will have buildings of different architectural styles from various nations and regions, comprising studios and one and two bedroom apartments. There will also be exclusively designed honeymoon cottages. The project would be a curtain raiser to the Global Investors’ Meet (GIM) scheduled in November, 2002.

Kerala Gramam Project
The Kochi Corporation is to float a global tender for preparing a project report for the Kerala Gramam project (meaning Kerala village project), which is to come up at Thanthonnithuruthu island in the Kochi backwaters. The plan is to develop the 100-acre island with access to infrastructure facilities, so that investors are attracted to set up hotels and business centres, while retaining the ambience of a typical Kerala village. It is proposed that the Corporation would sell about 25 acres of the land in advance and raise Rs.60 crores. This money would be used for dredging, bridge building, road development, setting up power and water supply network, etc.



Exhibit 7.4
TOURISM PROJECTS FOR THRISSUR DISTRICT

The State Tourism Department is to prepare a master plan for development of tourist centres in Thrissur district. The proposals include:
• Development of Chalakkudy – Athirappally road (Rs.10 crores NABARD assistance))
• Bathing ghat and foot path at Athirappally (Rs.40 lakhs)
• Tourism Reception Centre at Chalakkudy to be set up by DTPC
• Motel-resort constructed by the State Plantation Corporation at Athirappally to be commissioned with clearance from the forest department
• Sales-cum-exhibition centre of forest products and handicrafts to be started at Athirappally
• Garden at Thumboormuzhi dam to be renovated and handed over to the tourism department by the irrigation department
• Vazhani-Chimmoni road to be developed and boating facilities to be arranged at Chimmoni dam
• Beautification of Thrissur and development of model streets, with the co- operation of Thrissur Corporation and commercial establishments.




Exhibit 7.5

MASTER PLAN TO DEVELOP NEYYAR DAM

Neyyar Dam is being developed as tourist destination of international standards in accordance with a master plan. The projected outlay is Rs.182.5 million. The development plan is being implemented in four phases in association with the District Tourism Promotion Council.

Phase 1: Security cabin, facilitation centre, parking area, roads, bridges, children’s park, toilet blocks, swimming pool, cottages, boating facility
Phase 2: Guest house, pavilion, crocodile park, additional cottages and boating facility
Phase 3: Resort of international standards (Cost: Rs.70 million), rope way and development of the Safari Park
Phase 4: Modernisation of the park (Cost of Rs.4 million), trekking facilities & other development works.


Exhibit 7.6
TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT AND REAL ESTATE PROJECTS FOR WHICH EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST HAVE BEEN INVITED IN THE CONTEXT OF THE GLOBAL INVESTORS’ MEET



Project Anticipated Investment
(Rs.crores)
1. Lakeview Township, Thiruvananthapuram 100
2. Beach Resorts at Bekal, Kasaragod district 100
3. Eco Township, Kochi 80
4. Vagamon Hill Resort, Idukki district 1 50
5. Dream City Amusement Park, Kozhikode 2 50
6. Family Entertainment Centre, Kochi 50
7. Golf Course cum Tourist Resort, Kochi 40
8. Gandhivanam Wetland Eco-resort, Alappuzha 40
9. Film City at Chitranjali Studio Complex, Thiruvallam near
Thiruvananthapuram 3 25
10. Modernisation cum Commercial Complex at KSRTC Bus
Stations at 40 locations ##
11. Redevelopment of PWD Rest Houses at 25 locations ##
TOTAL (excluding items 10 & 11 above) 535
Note:
1. 750 hectares of land is available in Idukki district for this project.
2. This was envisaged as an integrated tourism-cum-urban development project. A Dream City and sewage treatment plant were proposed to be established in Kozhikode, under private-public partnership on BOT basis, similar to Alanthur scheme in Tamil Nadu. Corporation of Kozhikode and Kerala Water Authority would be the public sector participants in this project. Some land from the revenue department has been acquired by the Water Authority for this purpose.
3. A theme park combining film shooting and entertainment/recreation facilities. ## To be decided based on various project parameters
Contd…


Exhibit 7.6 (Contd…)

Some of the other projects that had been proposed by the Tourism Department to the Industries Department for inclusion in the Global Investors’ Meet are:



1. Kovalam re-development
Water supply, sewerage and solid waste disposal schemes to be implemented on commercial lines. Water would be taken from Vellayani
kayal to supply to this area.
2. Oceanarium at Akkulam
Children’s park, boating facility and swimming pool are already available in Akkulam. An aquarium is also being set up. The proposal is to develop an
oceanarium utilising the available government land.
3. Rope ways
Rope ways similar to the one at Malampuzha are proposed to be put up at Veli, Akkulam and Neyyar dam.
4. Marina at Kochi
A modern marina to be developed near Bolghatty Palace in Kochi.
5. Theerappadam project near Thiruvananthapuram
This involves cleaning of canal and creating tourism infrastructure.
6. Imax theatre at Thrippunithura
A multiplex theatre. Exemption from entertainment tax for seven years is proposed.


Source: Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation & its press notification



Types of Tourist Accommodation
Tourist accommodation can be of various forms and many of these are already prevalent in Kerala, including some exclusive and innovative ones.
The most common type of tourist accommodation is hotel, which includes:
• City or downtown hotel, catering to both business and holiday travelers.
• Business hotels catering to conferences and conventions and also general business and leisure travelers.
• Airport hotels designed for use by transit passengers and also by business travelers flying in to hold quick meetings with local persons.
• Hotels near railway and bus stations catering to transit travelers.
• Resort hotels, which offer a special range of facilities and services, usually in an attractive environment and oriented to the holiday tourist market (examples include backwater resorts, ayurvedic resorts, etc.).
Kerala has around 25,000 hotel & resort beds, with 8,500 of them being in the classified hotels and the rest in unclassified ones. Half of them are concentrated in Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram districts (Exhibits 8. 1 & 8.2).
Other types of tourist accommodation include:
• Floating accommodation, i.e., houseboats
• Home stays, such as those under the Grihasthali scheme (Exhibit 8.3)
• Residences/guest houses in plantation areas
• Palace hotels – Former palaces converted to hotels (Example: ‘The River Retreat’ at Cheruthuruthy in Thrissur district)
• Resorts built in heritage style of architecture (a prime example being ‘The Travancore Heritage’ at Chowara near Kovalam)
• Apartment hotels – having residential units with kitchenettes for self catering
• Time share resorts
• Yatri Nivases, youth hostels, guest houses and motels providing relatively inexpensive and sometimes dormitory accommodation
• Temple guest houses, bhajana mathams, dormitories for pilgrims
• Tree top houses as have been developed in Wayanad
• Camp grounds – camping sites, sometimes with rental tents and common toilet facilities
• Caravan parks – parking place and facilities for mobile accommodation of motorized campers and trailers


Mismatch between available tourist accommodation and estimated total tourist nights in Kerala
Kerala currently receives 5 million domestic tourists and 0.2 million foreign tourists per annum. According to a recent tourist survey carried out in the year 2000, average duration of stay of domestic tourists in Kerala is estimated to be
6.5 days, and that of foreign tourists is estimated at 14.1 days.
Foreign tourist arrivals are seasonal, while domestic tourist arrivals are spread out fairly uniformly throughout the year. Based on an accommodation occupancy factor of 75 % for domestic tourists and 60 % for foreign tourists, the number of accommodation beds required works out as below:

5,000,000 x 6.5
Domestic tourists: = 119,000
365 x 0.75

200,000 x 14.1
Foreign tourists: --------------------- = 13,000
365 x 0.60

In effect, more than 100,000 beds would be required to handle the estimated current tourist traffic. As against this, it is reported that there are only about 25,000 hotel & resort beds in Kerala, including 16,500 in the unclassified category.
This suggests that the number of days spent by tourists in Kerala has perhaps been overestimated by a factor of four, or that there are at least 75,000 more unclassified hotel beds or other accommodation used by tourists.
What is most likely is that the estimated duration of stay per tourist is not applicable to the entire base of tourists. Many domestic as well as foreign tourists combine visits to selected places in two to four states within a short span of time. A substantial number of tourists are from within the state or from near about places, who spend only one or two days for leisure travel or other purposes.

Accommodation projections and land area requirements
Nonetheless, we may proceed on the premise that the present availability of tourist accommodation beds in hotels and resorts in Kerala (about 25,000) is adequate to meet the current level of tourist traffic and thereby estimate incremental requirements to meet future growth.
However, in order to be consistent with the available accommodation beds, we would have to take the average duration of stay in Kerala by a domestic tourist at
1.5 nights and that of a foreign tourist at 3.5 nights.


Kerala’s Tourism Vision 2025 envisages adding 200 hotel rooms in star categories every year, which would in effect translate to adding 300 beds in the classified hotels and about 1000 beds per year including the unclassified ones. This appears to broadly agree with the projections made below.
Going by the growth rate of 3.5 % per annum for domestic tourists and 5 % per annum for foreign tourists; the number of additional hotel beds required would be as follows:
175,000 x 1.5
Domestic tourists: -------------------- = 960
365 x 0.75

10,000 x 3.5
Foreign tourists: --------------------- = 160
365 x 0.60
In all, about 1,120 accommodation beds need to be added every year, spread across all categories of hotels and resorts. However, to cater to the high season demand (say, 90 % occupancy during a period of 150 days that would have to accommodate 60 % of total annual incremental traffic), about 1,300 additional beds may be required.
The number of additional guest rooms required per annum may be estimated by dividing the number of beds by 1.5, which works out to about 850. This factor would in fact be around 1.7 for holiday oriented travel and closer to 1.2 for business oriented travel.
A quick estimation of the corresponding land area required per annum is worked out below:


Type of accommodation No. of
additional rooms Units per acre Land area
required (acres)
Urban hotels 510 80 6
Hotels for wildlife & nature tourism 85 20 4
Medium to low density hill station, backwater & beach resorts 255 10 25
TOTAL 850 35
It would appear that about 700 acres of land would be required over the coming two decades to create tourist accommodation of the required level of spatial comforts and ambience. In addition, an equal extent of land would be required to create extensive recreation facilities. A land bank of 1,400 acres may therefore be required for tourist accommodation and allied facilities over the next two decades.


Role of State tourism properties & their privatisation
Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (KTDC) is the major public sector agency in the State, operating in the tourism sector. It runs a large chain of tourist accommodation facilities in different parts of Kerala and also provides tour/transport services. The list of KTDC’s tourist accommodation/hotel properties is provided at Exhibit 8.4. KTDC’s performance during recent years is summarized at Exhibit 8.5.
It is well recognized that the government should act as a catalyst for tourism development, and that actual tourism-related products and services such as hotels and transport should best be provided by the private sector.
Nonetheless, it is to be appreciated that KTDC has played a pivotal role in leading the private sector to set up quality accommodation facilities in both established and new tourist destinations. For example, KTDC’s Mascot Hotel was one of the few high-class hotels in Thiruvananthapuram before the establishment of numerous private luxury hotels. However, some of KTDC’s smaller motels and yatri nivases are in sub-optimal locations and are not doing well.
In situations where its objective of playing a pivotal or catalytic role has been met with, the government can consider withdrawing its investments, by privatizing the hotel properties. The amounts redeemed thereby may be invested towards tourism development in virgin locations. But continued presence of the government may still be justifiable in a limited way in some places, in order to play a balancing/demonstrative role. Therefore, privatization of tourism properties may be undertaken gradually, considering the interest of tourism and tourists as a whole, rather than on considerations of financial returns alone.
In fact, Kerala has initiated steps towards privatization and joint sector promotion of hotel properties over a decade ago. Tourist Resorts Kerala Ltd (TRKL) was set up as a subsidiary of KTDC in 1989. It is the nodal agency for promoting private sector investments in tourism. This company has in turn formed two joint sector companies – Taj Kerala Hotels & Resorts Ltd (TKHRL) and Oberoi Kerala Hotels & Resorts Ltd (OKHRL), in association with the Taj and Oberoi groups respectively. Other investment projects by TRKL include the land bank project, Veli-Akkulam project, etc. Another government promoted company - Bekal Resort Development Corporation Ltd (BRDC) too has plans for implementation of resorts at Bekal with private sector participation.
TKHRL already has four operative hotel projects in Kumarakom, Thekkady, Varkala and Kochi. The properties at Kumarakom and Varkala were earlier government-owned, and these were transferred to the joint sector company. Though the government had earlier sustained losses on these properties, they played a pioneering role in developing Kumarakom and Varkala as tourist destinations.




Exhibit 8.1
DETAILS OF ACCOMMODATION FACILITY IN CLASSIFIED HOTELS IN KERALA
(1999 & 2000)
(Numbers)
Hotels category 1999 2000
Hotels Rooms Beds Hotels Rooms Beds
Heritage 7 112 290 7 112 290
5 star deluxe 1 93 183 1 93 183
5 star 4 445 843 6 594 1141
4 star 9 571 904 9 571 904
3 star 24 1010 1872 39 1555 2892
2 star 35 938 1758 36 919 1740
1 star 24 740 1312 24 728 1290
TOTAL 104 3909 7162 122 4572 8440


Source: Economic Review of Kerala, 2000-01 (Tourism Department, Government of Kerala)


Exhibit 8.2
NUMBER OF HOTEL BEDS & HOTELS IN KERALA
- BY DISTRICTS AND CATEGORIES (1999)
No. of hotel beds
No. of hotels in brackets & italics
District Heri-
tage 5 *
dlx 5 * 4 * 3 * 2 * 1 * Unclas-
sified Total
1.Thiruvananthapuram 105 -- 359 376 317 171 177 4,045 5,550
(2) -- (1) (3) (4) (4) (4) (105) (123)
2. Kollam -- -- -- -- 81 70 -- 477 628
-- -- -- -- (2) (1) -- (9) (12)
3. Pathanamthitta -- -- -- -- -- 28 -- 409 437
-- -- -- -- -- (1) -- (11) (12)
4. Alappuzha 22 -- -- -- 104 82 34 730 972
(1) -- -- -- (1) (2) (1) (19) (24)
5. Kottayam 64 -- -- 27 142 109 62 393 797
(1) -- -- (1) (2) (3) (2) (10) (19)
6. Idukki -- -- -- 64 267 297 145 1,106 1,879
-- -- -- (1) (4) (6) (3) (29) (43)
7. Ernakulam 55 183 340 284 768 526 443 3,493 6,092
(2) (1) (2) (3) (8) (9) (6) (77) (108)
8. Thrissur 14 -- -- -- -- 214 108 2,135 2,471
(1) -- -- -- -- (3) (2) (46) (52)
9. Palakkad -- -- -- -- 193 64 32 896 1,185
-- -- -- -- (3) (1) (1) (21) (26)
10. Malappuram -- -- -- -- -- 30 -- 474 504
-- -- -- -- -- (1) -- (14) (15)
11. Kozhikode
--
-- 144 99 -- 89 144 1,295 1,771
(1) (1) -- (2) (3) (20) (27)
12. Wayanad -- -- -- -- -- 32 -- 264 296
-- -- -- -- -- (1) -- (9) (10)
13. Kannur -- -- -- -- -- 46 60 670 776
-- -- -- -- -- (1) (1) (15) (17)
14. Kasaragod -- -- -- -- -- -- 68 788 856
-- -- -- -- -- -- (1) (15) (16)
TOTAL 260 183 843 850 1,872 1,758 1,273 17,175 24,214
(7) (1) (4) (9) (24) (35) (24) (400) (504)
Note: 1. Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam districts together account for nearly 50% of the total hotel accommodation in Kerala.
2. More than 70% of the hotel accommodation in the State is unclassified.
3. Average bed strengths have been assumed in situations where the number of beds in a hotel was not available.
Source: Handbook on Accommodation 2000, Department of Tourism, Govt of Kerala


Exhibit 8.3
GRIHASTHALI: SCHEME FOR CONSERVATION OF ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE BY CONVERTING HOMESTEADS TO PROVIDE TOURIST ACCOMMODATION
Kerala’s countryside abounds in sprawling traditional homesteads (e.g., nalukettus and ettukettus), most of which are fast going to ruins. Grihasthali is a scheme to preserve this architectural heritage by converting the homesteads into tourist accommodation with modern facilities. This also matches with the preference of foreign tourists to stay in traditional buildings and have a taste of authentic Kerala lifestyle during their visit.
Grihasthali will also inspire public participation in the promotion and development of tourism in the State. The Department of Tourism has designed a package of incentives and financial assistance in collaboration with the Kerala Financial Corporation (KFC) and nationalised banks.
Grihasthali also envisages registration of those properties where owners would not like to convert their buildings themselves, but are interested in identifying a potential partner/buyer for the property. This will help in the creation of an authentic database for prospective investors.
Definition of a heritage building: Any building which is more than 50 years old and bears characteristics of the traditional Kerala architecture.
Documents to be submitted along with the application:
1. Proof of ownership/lease of the building
2. Location plan showing the building’s access from major roads
3. Plan, elevation and section of the existing building
4. Plan, elevation and section of the building after incorporating the proposed alteration, certified by a qualified engineer
5. Site plan to scale showing available open spaces on all sides of the building
6. Estimate of the proposed renovation, certified by a qualified engineer
7. Photographs of the building, including interiors
8. Filled in form accepting tourism department’s regulatory conditions.
If the applicant only wants to register the property and not undertake any renovation, only items 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 above need be submitted.
Incentives offered to approved projects:
1. Subsidy for preparation of project report up to 25% of the expenditure, subject to a maximum of Rs. 10,000/-.
2. Investment subsidy for approved projects, up to 25% of the investment for renovation subject to a maximum of Rs. 5 lakhs, payable after commencement of operations.
3. Financial assistance for the project through loans from KFC, banks, etc.


Exhibit 8.4
KERALA TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION LTD’S TOURIST ACCOMMODATION PROPERTIES

Hotels
1. Agastiya House, Neyyar Dam, Kattakada
2. Hotel Aranya Nivas & Lake Palace, Thekkady, Idukki dist.
3. Hotel Bolgatty Palace, Kochi, Ernakulam dist.
4. Hotel Chaithram, Thiruvananthapuram
5. Garden House Hotel, Malampuzha, Palakkad dist.
6. Houseboat Holidays, Kavanattinkara, Kottayam dist.
7. Malabar Mansion, Kozhikode
8. Mascot Hotel, Thiruvananthapuram
9. Hotel Nandanam, Guruvayoor, Thrissur dist.
10. Hotel Periyar House, Thekkady, Idukki dist.
11. Hotel Samudra, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram dist.
12. Tea County (Hill Resort), Munnar, Idukki dist.
13. Water Scapes, Kumarakom, Kottayam dist.
Motels
1. Motel Aaram, Kottarakkara, Kollam dist.
2. Motel Aaram, Palaruvi, Kollam dist.
3. Motel Aaram, Krishnapuram, Kayamkulam, Kollam dist.
4. Motel Aaram, Alappuzha, Alappuzha dist.
5. Motel Aaram, Vaikkom, Kottayam dist.
6. Motel Aaram, Valara, Idukki dist.
7. Motel Aaram, Erumayur, Palakkad dist.
8. Motel Aaram, Kuttipuram, Malappuram dist.
9. Motel Aaram, Vadakara, Kozhikode dist.
10. Motel Aaram, Mangattuparambu, Kannur dist.
11. Motel Aaram, Sulthan Bathery, Wayanad dist.
12. Motel Aaram, Thalappadi, Kasaragod dist.
13. Motel Aaram, Athirapally, Chalakudy, Thrissur dist.
14. KTDC Motel, Pathirapally, Alappuzha dist.
Yatri Nivas
1. Mangalya, Guruvayoor, Thrissur dist.
2. Anjanam Cottages, Guruvayoor, Thrissur dist.
3. Yatri Nivas, Changanassery, Kottayam dist.
4. Yatri Nivas, Malayattoor, Ernakulam dist.
5. Yatri Nivas, Thrissur
6. Yatri Nivas, Alappuzha
7. Yatri Nivas, Kollam
8. Yatri Nivas, Kannur
9. Yatri Nivas, Peerumedu, Idukki dist.



Exhibit 8.5
KERALA TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION LTD’S PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS (1999-2000 & 2000-01)
(Rs. lakhs)


Sl.
No.
Name of Units Average % occupancy (1999-00 &
2000-01) Income Profit/Loss

1999-00
2000-01
1999-00
2000-01
1. Mascot Hotel,
Thiruvananthapuram 36 227.50 213.99 -0.44 -15.81
2. Hotel Chaithram,
Thiruvananthapuram 56 241.18 214.93 -23.83 -35.65
3. Hotel Samudra,
Kovalam 27 293.11 278.02 41.50 22.05
4. Hotel Aranya Nivas &
Hotel Lake Palace, Thekkady 26 232.68 263.12 68.42 70.51
5. Hotel Periyar House,
Thekkady 52 98.42 108.10 11.85 15.10
6. Bolgatty Palace Hotel,
Kochi 44 54.49 63.10 -7.03 -9.85
7. Garden House,
Malampuzha 45 71.36 55.60 10.91 2.36
8. Hotel Nandanam,
Guruvayoor 35 39.62 33.78 3.49 -6.24
9. Mangalya, Guruvayoor 43 63.27 56.48 -1.57 -3.17
10. Hotel Aiswarya,
Kottayam 43.92 --- -14.12 ---
11. Malabar Mansion,
Kozhikode 62 109.16 117.64 13.76 6.18
12. Tea County Hill Resort,
Munnar 56 27.54 147.27 -3.37 -15.27
13. Anjanam, Guruvayoor 45 4.23 4.04 -1.45 0.02
14. Motels Aarams 15 376.67 333.06 18.39 7.00
15. Yatri Nivases 45 139.49 204.56 -1.59 -2.66
16. Miscellaneous Group 172.49 188.83 -32.08 -14.73
17. Sabala Restaurants &
Beer Parlours 1120.03 726.89 6.24 57.86
18. Transport Division,
Thiruvananthapuram 42.32 --- -14.03 ---
19. T.R.C., Kochi 50.97 --- 3.96 ---
GRAND TOTAL 3407.45 3096.45 79.01 63.77





Need for exclusive/complementary infrastructure for tourism development
Development of adequate infrastructure for tourism becomes a particularly critical factor in developing countries like India, which face basic infrastructural constraints.
Transport facilities and services, water supply, electricity, sewage and solid waste disposal, drainage and telecommunications are all components of infrastructure, typically required for tourism development. Infrastructure is also necessary to contain air & water pollution and congestion, and also for resource conservation such as recycling of sewage to provide water for landscaping.
The basic infrastructure of an area meant for the host community can often serve the needs of tourism to only a limited extent. Additional investments are usually necessary to support tourism on a significant scale. Ideally, the multiple use of infrastructure built or improved to serve tourism, should financially justify the investment. Thus, tourism may help to pay partly for general infrastructure costs, this being one of its socio-economic benefits. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to construct new infrastructure, just for tourist facilities.

Destination travel costs
Cost of travel to the destination and the cost of using tourist facilities and services at the destination are important factors in attracting tourists. High costs would keep away general interest sight seeing tourists who often have comparable alternatives accessible to them at lower cost. Special interest tourists are usually more willing to pay a higher cost to pursue their travel interests.
Domestic travel cost to Kerala is relatively higher because it is in one corner of the country, and domestic air fares are expensive. International travel cost to Kerala too is higher, as direct flight connections are limited. However, recent trends suggest that this situation would gradually change for the better in future.
The major transport-related considerations therefore are:
• Access of the State (Kerala) from principal markets abroad, and from other states/regions within India.
• Internal transportation system within the state and access of individual tourist spots within the State.


Kerala’s Infrastructure Vision
A summarisation of Kerala’s Infrastructure Vision is provided at Exhibit 9.1, with a focus on the transportation sector, as access is the fundamental element of tourism infrastructure. The Infrastructure Vision has identified many proposals for the development of different types of infrastructure in the State, and has also drawn up various mechanisms for implementing the same.
Further, the Kerala Infrastructure Development Bill envisages a transparent framework for participation by non-government entities in financing, construction, maintenance and operation of infrastructure projects. This covers the entire gamut of infrastructure projects including tourism projects, roads and urban transport. Wherever applicable, private participation in infrastructure projects may be configured in a manner that ensures a continuous stream of revenue to the government by way of annual licence fees /lease payments, etc.
Transportation facilities and services
Road transport:
Exhibits 9.2 and 9.3 provide basic information on the road network in Kerala. Exhibit 9.4 marks the National Highways in Kerala, on a map. Important improvements that are necessary and in the pipeline are:
1. Four laning of the Salem-Kochi section of NH-47 as an additional spur of the Golden Quadrilateral Project.
2. Complete four laning of the coastal National Highways (NH-17 & NH-47) with by-passes at major urban nodes, so as to create a high-speed north- south corridor. This work has been completed in short stretches such as by-passes at Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi, and four laning of the Kochi- Cherthala segment. However, ribbon development along the highway could be a constraint in the smooth execution of certain segments of this project.
3. The Goshree Project connecting Vypeen, Vallarpadam and Bolghatty islands to the Ernakulam mainland would be a significant development.
The most notable development is the scheduled commencement of the World Bank-backed Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP), popularly referred to as the Jumbo Road Project. This project envisages upgradation and maintenance of 2810 kms of roads across the State, of which 600 kms are being taken up in the first phase. The cost is estimated at Rs.1250 crores.
Rail transport:
The railway network in Kerala (Exhibit 9.5) has improved considerably over the years with the doubling and electrification of high traffic corridors. The commissioning of Konkan Railway has brought Kerala much closer to many places in the western and northern parts of the country.
Ernakulam – Mulanthuruthi section is being doubled, which will eventually lead to doubling of the entire Ernakulam - Kayamkulam railway link via Kottayam.


Interestingly, less-known potential tourist destinations like Thenmala and Nilambur have rail links, though these are low traffic routes with limited services.
Among the needs for the future would be a high-speed rail corridor between Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram and doubling of the Shoranur – Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram – Kanyakumari sections, to meet the growth in traffic.
A somewhat controversial project is the proposed Angamali – Pamba (near Sabarimala) rail link, with an alignment that would minimise ecological damage.
Air transport:
Kerala has the unique distinction among Indian states of having three international gateways. However, international air access is primarily with the Middle Eastern countries, and caters to the sizeable Keralites working there (Exhibits 9.6 & 9.7).
The Government of India’s civil aviation policy is not conducive to opening up the Indian skies freely to foreign airlines. Domestic airfares are unrealistically high and there are anomalies in international air fares to Kerala. However, going by available indications, one can expect rationalisation of air fares and improved air links in the foreseeable future.
Among the positive developments taking place are:
1. Air India’s thrice a week Kochi-Delhi-Paris-New York flight from December
2. Night landing facilities at Karipur airport (Kozhikode) by the end of this year
3. Additional flights by Oman Air later this year linking Nedumbassery (Kochi) with Muscat and onward with London
However, development of direct air links with Europe and North America would be gradual. The frequencies too would be low to start with.
While chartered flights offer a possible solution, most chartered flight tours are low budget tours, characterised by intense price competition and wafer thin margins. Some chartered flights are already operating to Thiruvananthapuram, and this is not seen as a desirable way of achieving major growth in tourist traffic.
The current hub and spoke pattern of air traffic, with major airports (Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai) serving as hubs for long distance high volume traffic, and distributing the same through a spoke system to other places, will continue to play a significant role for some time to come.
Further, at least two-thirds of foreign tourists visiting Kerala, combine the visit to Kerala with other states in India. They make use of rail, road and air access to Kerala from other states. This too would continue to be a common practice as foreign tourists do not necessarily come to visit just one State in India.
Other infrastructure -considerations in tourism planning
Precise calculation of infrastructure needs such as water supply, electricity, etc., is not easily possible when planning for tourism at the State level. However, it is imperative that there is no serious shortfall in the overall availability of these infrastructure elements, to avoid impeding development of specific tourist sites.


Quality of urban tourist centres and transit points have a significant role to play in tourism development. Kerala’s Urban Policy & Action Plan is summarised at Exhibit 9.8, with a focus on tourism related issues. A list of statutory urban areas is given at Exhibit 9.9.
Availability of general infrastructure components would be important considerations in selecting/developing tourism areas and projects, and in establishing standards of infrastructure planning and engineering design at a more detailed level.
Water supply is typically the most critical component in terms of local availability. Other infrastructure can usually be provided through additional investments.
Satellite imageries and aerial photographs along with a comprehensive and updated database on physical infrastructure and land information through the application of Geographical Information System (GIS) can be effectively used for appropriate infrastructure planning and management.
Important issues and considerations with regard to some of the general infrastructure elements in the context of tourism planning are outlined below.
Water supply:
Some of the alternatives to be kept in mind for implementation, where applicable and feasible are:
• Rain water harvesting to meet part of the water requirement
• Using treated sewage effluent for landscaping and golf course irrigation
• Utilizing salt water for toilet flushing in coastal/island resorts by installing two separate water systems.
Electricity:
The following energy conservation measures can be adopted in designing tourist facilities, wherever possible:
• Solar power for water heating in hotels/resorts
• Environmentally sensitive building design to reduce air-conditioning costs.
Sewage disposal:
Hotels/resorts should not be allowed to discharge their sewage effluent directly into streams, rivers, lakes and seas. Where centralised common service area system does not exist or is inadequate, septic tank and leaching bed disposal technique may be adopted, depending on soil conditions. Large hotels/resorts and groups of hotels/resorts may justify their own independent sewage treatment and disposal system, and this could be insisted upon.
Solid waste disposal:
Where government/community operated solid waste collection and disposal system is not available, sanitary land fill, incineration, burning as a source of fuel energy, partial recycling and compaction are some of the available options. A combination of techniques is often the most practical.


Exhibit 9.1
INFRASTRUCTURE VISION FOR KERALA – A SYNOPSIS

In spite of a substantial incidence of taxation, Kerala is a highly indebted state (about Rs.30,000 crores). It has therefore become all the more imperative that private sector investment is encouraged by putting in place the necessary market structures and regulation. Kerala’s ‘infrastructure vision’ emphasizes creation of physical and social infrastructure with active private sector participation.
The areas of priority identified are: energy, transport, sports, communication, urban infrastructure and industrial parks under physical infrastructure and education, healthcare and other civic amenities under social infrastructure.

Roads:
Major proposals in the roads sector include:
• Conversion of Thiruvananthapuram–Kasaragod coastal highway into a ‘rubberised bitumen expressway’
• Creation of an alternative ‘hill highway’ between these two cities by upgrading and inter-linking existing roads in order to ease traffic on the coastal route
• A super highway above the existing railway track between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod is also under consideration, as this would avoid the need for fresh land acquisition.
Proposed road developments:
• 30 km. long airport-seaport highway connecting Cochin International Airport with the sea port
• Link road to Kochi port as an offshoot of the NHDP Programme
• 54 km. West Coast Highway from Ponnani to Kozhikode
• East-West Corridor from Cherthala to Kodimatha
• Marine Drive-NH-17 link road at Kochi
• Munnar - Kodaikanal road
• Investment of Rs. 47.65 crores under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana for rural roads
• Kottayam-Kumarakom-Cherthala road
• Sabarimala road
• Road from Goshree bridge to NH 47 and NH 17
• Extension of Irumbanam- Kalamassery road
• New road connecting NH 47 bye pass with Irumbanam – Kalamassery road

Contd...


Exhibit 9.1 (Contd...)

Railways:
The possibilities under railway network improvement are:
• Doubling of the two Kochi – Thiruvananthapuram railway lines via Kottayam and also via Alappuzha
• New railway lines like Angamaly-Sabarimala, Kottayam-Erumely, Kuttipuram
– Guruvayoor
• Mass Rapid Transit System in major cities (e.g., Sky Bus/Train is under consideration for Kochi, particularly to link airport to the city)
• Expansion of railway electrification
• Thiruvananthapuram - Kochi metro line.

Inland water transport:
Network of collection and delivery centres for cargo movement across the state. Development and deepening of canals for cargo and passenger movements and also for pleasure cruises.


Port: Development of Vizhinjam as a major port
Air transport: Intra-state air taxi service connecting all significant nodal centres in Kerala.
Power supply is proposed to be augmented and cost reduced by establishing LNG based plants.
Communications: Submarine cables landing in Kochi are already in place

Various options available and used/proposed to be used for involving private sector in infrastructure development are:

1. Service contracts 11. Subordinate (mezzanine) debt financing
2. Management contracts 12. Dedicated funds & financing institutions
for urban infrastructure
3. Leases
4. Concessions 13. Project initialisation fund
5. BOT, BOO, etc. 14. NRK Infrastructure Initiative Fund
6. Divestiture 15. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
7. Take out financing 16. Involvement of insurance sector
8. Consortium financing 17. Long term & low cost funds – pension, provident and insurance funds
9. Cash flow financing
10. Securitisation of receivables 18. Resource mobilisation by urban local
bodies
11. Municipal bonds


Exhibit 9.2
LENGTH OF ROADS IN KERALA
(AS ON 1.4.2001)

Sl. No. Type of road Length in kms.
1. National highways 1,560.10
2. State highways 3,890.27
3. Major district roads 11,469.52
4. Other district roads 5,243.78
5. Village roads 904.60
TOTAL LENGTH 23,068.27

Source: Economic Review of Kerala, 2000-01

Exhibit 9.3
NATIONAL HIGHWAYS IN KERALA

Sl. No. NH No. From – to Length in kms.
1. NH – 47 Valayar – Kaliyikkavila 416.80
2. NH – 17 Thalappadi – Edappally 420.80
3. NH – 49 Bodimettu – Kundanoor 167.60
4. NH – 47 A Kundanoor – Willington Island 5.90
5. NH – 208 # Kollam – Ariyankavu 81.00
6. NH – 212 # Kozhikode – Muthanga 117.00
7. NH – 213 # Kozhikode – Palakkad 141.00
8. NH – 220 # Kollam – Theni 210.00
TOTAL LENGTH 1,560.10
Note: # Declared as National Highways in recent years.
Source: Economic Review of Kerala, 2000-01


Map Exhibit 9.4


Map – Exhibit 9.5


Exhibit 9.6
KERALA'S AIR CONNECTIVITY THROUGH SCHEDULED PASSENGER FLIGHTS

Domestic International
Middle East Other places
Thiruvananthapuram
1. Mumbai 1. Abu Dhabi 1. Colombo
2. Chennai 2. Bahrain 2. Male
3. Delhi 3. Dammam 3. Singapore
4. Bangalore 4. Doha
5. Kochi 5. Dubai
6. Tiruchi 6. Kuwait
7. Muscat
8. Riyadh
9. Sharjah
Kochi
1. Mumbai 1. Abu Dhabi 1. Singapore
2. Chennai 2. Bahrain
3. Delhi 3. Dammam
4. Bangalore 4. Dhahran
5. Coimbatore 5. Doha
6. Goa 6. Dubai
7. Hyderabad 7. Kuwait
8. Kozhikode 8. Muscat
9. Thiruvananthapuram 9. Sharjah
10. Tiruchi
11. Agatti
Kozhikode
1. Mumbai 1. Abu Dhabi
2. Chennai 2. Bahrain
3. Delhi 3. Doha
4. Coimbatore 4. Dubai
5. Goa 5. Fujairah
6. Kochi 6. Jeddah
7. Tiruchi 7. Kuwait
8. Muscat
9. Ras-al-Khaimah
10. Sharjah
Main Sources: Airline time tables and press reports on air timings



Exhibit 9.7
PASSENGER TRAFFIC IN KERALA’S AIRPORTS
(1999-2000 & 2000-01)

Sl.
No.
Airline 1999-2000 2000-01
Dom Int Tot Dom Int Tot
Thiruvananthapuram
1. Indian Airlines 132,212 81,437 213,649 151,964 96,498 248,462
2. Air India 72,130 145,231 217,361 13,993 146,472 160,465
3. Jet Airways 76,982 -- 76,982 84,764 -- 84,764
4. Gulf Air -- 153,607 153,607 -- 143,896 143,896
5. Oman Air -- 66,327 66,327 -- 76,282 76,282
6. Kuwait Airways -- 67,591 67,591 -- 66,730 66,730
7. Qatar Airways -- 52,901 52,901 -- 92,412 92,412
8. Air Lanka -- 79,423 79,423 -- 83,843 83,843
9. Air Maldives -- 97,703 97,703 -- -- --
10 Silk Air -- 12,056 12,056 -- 30,600 30,600
11. Chartered flights 8,054 8,054 -- 10,198 10,198
TOTAL 281,324 764,330 1,045,654 250,721 746,931 997,652
Kochi
1. Indian Airlines 108,032 50,225 158,257 154,434 82,029 236,463
2. Air India -- 144,512 144,512 -- 214,229 214,229
3. Jet Airways 181,706 -- 181,706 300,882 -- 300,882
TOTAL 289,738 194,737 484,475 455,316 296,258 751,574
Kozhikode
1. Indian Airlines 78,305 146,616 224,921 79,896 146,702 226,598
2. Air India 70,697 58,054 128,751 64,086 55,877 119,963
3. IA & AI joint
venture -- 89,368 89,368 -- 80,771 80,771
4. Jet Airways 70,670 -- 70,670 53,937 -- 53,937
TOTAL 219,672 294,038 513,710 197,919 283,350 481,269

GRAND
TOTAL 790,734 1,253,102 2,043,809 903,956 1,326,539 2,230,495
Source: Economic Review of Kerala, 2000-01 &
(Airports Authority of India & Cochin International Airports Ltd)


Exhibit 9.8
KERALA’S URBAN POLICY & ACTION PLAN
– SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS
Urban context and prioritisation policy:
As per census data, about 26 per cent of Kerala’s population live in urban areas. However, effective urbanisation is higher because of ribbon development along the coastal transport corridors, resulting in an urban-rural continuum.
The urban sector in Kerala comprises of five municipal corporations, 53 municipalities and 6 development authorities (Exhibit 9.9). Further to the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments, spatial planning authority is given to the urban local bodies. The role of urban development authorities is therefore diminished.
To avoid spreading of development expenditure thinly across the vast urban spread, the 58 statutory towns are prioritised as below, based on their present development status and future economic development potential:
Priority 1: Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram Priority 2: Kozhikode
Priority 3: Thrissur, Kannur, Kollam, Alappuzha, Palakkad and Kottayam urban agglomerations
Priority 4: The remaining statutory towns

Selected highlights of the action plan:
The action plan is exhaustive and covers a wide gamut of issues. Only a few elements that have implication for tourism development are highlighted below.
1. Land procurement for public purposes to be achieved through urban land consolidation, by allocation of alternative land, transfer of development right, urban land reconstitution, creation of land banks, popularizing land lease, etc.
2. Schemes and regulations to be put in place for conservation of heritage structures; and adapting them for uses such as museums, etc.
3. Kerala Municipality Building Rules to be further amended to avoid arbitrariness in giving building permits and make optimum use of land. This is to facilitate construction of new hotels, thus augmenting accommodation facility for tourists. In order to upgrade the standards of hotels, they may even be given tax incentives.
4. Development of parks and open spaces including amusement parks, recreational walkways, etc., to be given appropriate priority. Conversion of existing recreational open spaces for other uses, to be prevented.
5. All developers including government agencies to attach Environment Impact Assessment statements to applications for major development projects.
6. Urban roads to be rehabilitated using the entire right-of-way, by clearing encroachments, providing end-to-end surfacing, footpaths, bus bays and parking lots. Government land to be identified to provide off-street parking.


Exhibit 9.9
LIST OF MUNICIPALITIES, CORPORATIONS & URBAN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITIES IN KERALA
Municipalities:

Sl.
No. Town Year# Sl.
No. Town Year#
1. Neyyattinkara 1913 28. Kunnamkulam 1948
2. Nedumangad 1978 29. Irinjalakuda 1936
3. Attingal 1924 30. Chalakkudy 1970
4. Varkala 1980 31. Kodungallur 1977
5. Paravoor(S) 1988 32. Chavakkad 1978
6. Punalur 1971 33. Gurvayur 1961
7. Pathanamthitta 1978 34. Palakkad 1866
8. Thiruvalla 1920 35. Chittoor
-Thathamangalam 1947
9. Adoor 1990 36. Shoranur 1978
10. Alappuzha 1896 37. Ottappalam 1990
11. Kayamkulam 1909 38. Malappuram 1970
12. Cherthala 1952 39. Thirur 1971
13. Mavelikkara 1941 40. Manjeri 1978
14. Chenganoor 1978 41. Ponnani 1977
15. Kottayam 1923 42. Perinthalmanna 1990
16. Changanassery 1921 43. Koyilandi 1993
17. Vaikom 1919 44. Kalpetta 1990
18. Pala 1947 45. Kannur 1867
19. Thodupuzha 1978 46. Thalassery 1866
20. Aluva 1968 47. Mattannur 1990
21. Perumbavoor 1953 48. Vadakara 1958
22. North Parur 1912 49. Payyanur 1990
23. Muvattupuzha 1958 50. Kuthuparamba 1990
24. Thrippunithura 1978 51. Thaliparamba 1990
25. Angamaly 1978 52. Kasaragod 1966
26. Kothamangalam 1978 53. Kanhangad 1984
27. Kalamassery 1990

# - Year of constitution as municipality
Contd...





Exhibit 9.9 (contd...)


Corporations:



Sl.
No.
Name Year of constitution as
Corporation.
1 Thiruvananthapuram 1941
2 Kochi 1967
3 Kozhikode 1962
4 Kollam 2000
5 Thrissur 2000




Urban Development Authorities:


1. Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority
2. Kollam Development Authority
3. Idukki Development Authority
4. Greater Cochin Development Authority
5. Thrissur Urban Development Authority
6. Kozhikode Development Authority





There can be both positive and negative economic and socio-cultural impacts of tourism, depending on the type, intensity and pace of tourism development, as well as characteristics of the host society. However, significant economic benefits can accrue from tourism and negative socio-cultural impacts can be minimised through carefully planned and managed development. The earlier portions of this chapter try to quantify the positive benefits, while the possible negative effects are highlighted towards the latter half.

Income from direct tourist expenditures
The basic input for economic analysis of tourism is tourist expenditures. Based on the results of a tourist survey carried out in the year 2000, Kerala’s Tourism Department implicitly estimates earnings through direct expenditure by tourists during the year 2000 as follows:


Number of tourists Avg daily expenditure per tourist (Rs.) Avg duration of stay
in Kerala (days) Direct income from tourist expenditures (Rs. crores)
Domestic: 5,013,221 682 6.5 2222.36
Foreign: 209,933 1,764 14.1 522.15
Total/avg: 5,223,154 725 6.8 2744.51


However, as already brought out in an earlier chapter on tourist accommodation, the average duration of stay does not appear to be representative of the entire population of tourists.
If the above figures are correct, including multiplier effects, the total impact of tourism on Kerala’s economy would be an astounding Rs.10,000 crores, which is most unlikely.
Earnings from foreign tourists for the year 2000, is reported at Rs.525.3 crores, which corresponds to the figure of Rs.522.15 crores worked out above, by utilising the published statistics and survey norms. However, this estimate too does not seem convincing as explained in the section below.



Earnings from foreign tourists
Earnings from foreign tourists to Kerala in Indian Rupees is reported to have increased by 3.31 times over the five-year period from 1995 to 2000, while number of foreign tourists has increased only by a factor of 1.47 (Exhibit 10.1).
Even after adjusting for factors like inflation and change in the value of the Indian Rupee, the underlying assumption appears to be that the average foreign tourist to Kerala in the year 2000 spent 60% more in real terms, than the average foreign tourist to Kerala in 1995. Further, the average reported earning per foreign tourist to Kerala is rather high when compared to the average earning per foreign tourist to India as a whole.
The estimated earning of Rs.25,000 per foreign tourist to Kerala (Rs.1,764 per day x 14.1 days works out to Rs.24,872. This has been rounded off to Rs.25,000) is supported by the findings the tourist survey carried out in the year 2000. However, discussions with representatives of the hospitality and travel industry suggest that this average is not applicable across the board for all foreign tourists. The opinion expressed is that about one-third of the foreign tourists coming to the State are low budget tourists, who spend frugally on accommodation, food and other services.
A FICCI study estimates that every one million additional foreign visitors could translate into Rs.4,300 crores of revenue for the industry. But this could be at the all-India level. The average tourist would spend only a minor fraction of the total time spent in India in Kerala.
Further, foreign exchange earnings from tourism would reduce to the extent of import content in the tourism product in terms of goods & services imported, advertising and promotional expenditures incurred abroad, agency commissions paid in foreign exchange, etc. Typically, in the Indian context, the import content may be taken to be around 5 per cent.

Tourism’s contribution to Net State Domestic Product
Kerala’s Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) at current prices for the year 1999- 2000 is reported at Rs.58,705 crores. According to Kerala Government sources, tourism contributes around Rs.3,500 crores, accounting for 6 % to the NSDP.
Tourism Satellite Account – Tool for measuring economic impact of tourism
The World Travel & Tourism Council India Initiative (WTTCII) and the Government of Kerala entered into an agreement in the year 2000, to initiate various actions for developing tourism in the state. A key component is to



develop a Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) to measure and communicate the full economic impact of travel and tourism in Kerala, in terms of NSDP, job creation and government revenues. It aims to provide a solid, comprehensive and credible statistical information base, on the economic repercussions of tourism. It claims to go much beyond visitor arrivals and visitor expenditures as measures of success for the tourism industry.
However, contrary to popular belief, building tourism is an extremely capital- intensive task. Expenditures on a variety of infrastructure, such as transportation (including airports & aircraft purchases), telecommunications, marketing, etc., do not appear to be adequately addressed in the TSA methodology, thus tending to over-estimate the beneficial impact of tourism.

Employment Generation
Employment generation from tourism falls into the following categories:
1. Direct employment in tourism enterprises, such as hotels & restaurants, tour operations and souvenir/tourist oriented shops
2. Indirect employment in the supplying sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and manufacturing
3. Induced employment of additional persons supported by the spending of income by the direct and indirect employees
4. Employment generated by construction of tourist facilities and related infrastructure, though this is temporary
Based on an independent survey, Kerala’s Tourism Department reports that the tourism sector directly employs 1.28 lakh persons in the State. It is said that including indirect employment, the total employment generated is about 7 lakhs.
Estimation of direct employment:
Employment generated by hotels can be completely considered as direct employment generated by tourism, without much error. Kerala currently has about 8,500 beds in the classified hotels and around 16,500 beds in the unclassified hotels. Going by the norm of 1 employee per bed in the upper class of hotels and 0.5 employees per bed in the other classes of accommodation, the total number of employees in the hotels/accommodation sector would be of the order of 17,000.

The other direct employment generating segments are tour operators, transporters, restaurants, shopping establishments and other tourism service providers. However, public transport vehicles, taxis/auto rickshaws, restaurants and shops cater mostly to the local population. The extent of usage by tourists would be minuscule as compared to the total. Considering this aspect, the estimated direct employment figure is definitely not conservative.


Estimation of indirect & induced employment:
A realistic estimate of the employment multiplier effect would be about 2.5. Therefore, total employment supported by tourism in Kerala is likely to be around
4.5 lakhs.
Employment - investment ratio:
Employment is also measured in economic terms, with respect to how much investment is required to produce one job, or contribution per employee to income from tourism.
Although tourism is often portrayed as a labour intensive activity, the typically high cost of constructing good quality accommodation and related infrastructure requires substantial investment to be made for each job generated, although non-hotel jobs may be some what less capital intensive. Low quality accommodation costs less, but also employs fewer persons per room.
A FICCI study reportedly states that every one million rupees of additional investment into the tourism sector has the potential to generate 47.5 jobs. And every direct job leads to the creation of another 11 indirect jobs! The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has forecast that if India has to keep up with the world average, it would have to generate 25 million new jobs in the travel and tourism sector by the year 2010. Even if Kerala were to target to achieve 3 per cent of this, it would mean that about 8 lakh additional jobs would have to be created in the State in ten years, or 80,000 per annum. Quite obviously, these figures are dangerously bullish and misleading.
Employment projections:
Kerala’s Tourism Vision 2025 targets to generate direct employment for 10,000 persons every year. Even this would be quite difficult to achieve, unless the momentum of growth in tourism is kept up consistently. Including employment multiplier effects, if this target is achieved, one would generate about 35,000 jobs per annum through tourism.
Human resources development:
More important than job generation would be to ensure availability of suitable human resources for the tourism sector. At the final point of service delivery, the tourist has to have a pleasant experience. Willingness to work long and irregular hours, good communication skills, knowledge of different languages and a polite attitude are among the principal traits required for a successful career in the tourism sector.
The Kerala Government has taken numerous steps in this direction, both in terms of strengthening formal long and short term training in various skills and also in creating awareness among taxi/auto rickshaw drivers and such others regarding how they could interact with tourists and others.


Kerala has maintained a fairly good pace of growth in tourism in recent years, both in terms of quantity and quality. Surprisingly, it is however said that majority of the students completing the Post-Graduate Diploma in Tourism Administration from KITTS (Kerala Institute of Tourism & Travel Studies, Thiruvananthapuram) get placed outside Kerala; and that the demand within the State is limited. Big companies in the tourism sector together employ only a limited number of people. Many of the formally trained personnel are compelled to join smaller enterprises at lower remuneration. Nevertheless, there is substantial potential for hotel management and catering institute students in the catering and guest relations sections of large hospitals and corporate houses, apart from hotels.

Kerala Government’s initiatives to contain negative impact of tourism
Kerala’s Tourism Department has taken a number of initiatives to contain the negative impact of tourism, many of which have been alluded to at appropriate places elsewhere in this Document. A couple of other steps taken are briefly mentioned below.
A ‘Tourism, Conservation, Preservation and Trade Act’ has been drafted and is under active consideration for enactment. The objectives of this act are:
1. To provide for the conservation and preservation of tourist areas.
2. To provide for approval of persons/agencies/institutions dealing with travel and tourism that offer quality services.
3. To regulate courses of instruction in subjects related to hospitality studies.
4. To take care of incidental and ancillary matters.
However, some sections of the hospitality and travel industry feel that they are not adequately informed of the need for and implications of this Act.
Also, carrying capacity studies for fragile tourist destinations are being carried out and destination level master plans are being got prepared for many places, to ensure systematic development.
Nevertheless, in one’s enthusiasm to develop tourism, one cannot afford to overlook certain possible negative effects. These are explained in the sections below.

Tourism – A double edged sword
The much-touted and bullish ‘facts and figures’ on tourism often may not stand rigorous tests of validity and reliability, due to inherent limitations and biases in data capturing and analysis. Disproportionate government expenditure on tourism encouraged by such data, could result in relative neglect (though unintentional) of other sectors of the economy and deprive development elsewhere. This could also lead to neglect of deserving communities from necessary facilities.


A tourism-led economic growth could result in a gradual over-dependence on this sector, so as to eventually reach a point from which there is no turning back, in spite of any negative impact that may be experienced due to over-exposure to tourism.
Tourism inevitably leads to social and cultural influences on the host community. It would be hard to accept only the economic influences and shun the others. The key issue would be to assimilate the beneficial influences in a harmonious manner, and isolate the ones that may be harmful.
Likewise, traditional cultural and art forms – dance, music, festival celebrations, handicrafts, etc., which are put to use for tourism development, would necessarily have to undergo some changes so as to be interpretable and presentable to a different audience. Only a very niche and discerning target group could accept our art and culture in their pure and esoteric forms. Such changes are already taking place, for example in the case of ayurvedic rejuvenation treatments, which are offered in numerous hotels and resorts all over the state. The question is as to how would the extent of acceptability of such changes be shaped and decided.
Like industry, tourism too tends to concentrate in already developed and popular areas, that provide agglomeration benefits to the investors. It is difficult to disperse tourism to new areas, as it is to disperse industrial development.
Tourism is a land-intensive activity. This aspect would be very important for a state like Kerala.
Tourism is also seasonal, more so in Kerala, due to its heavy monsoon. Accommodation and other tourist facilities fall vacant during the off-season. On the other hand, civic services and allied infrastructure, which are not adequate to meet the peak demand, would crack under the strain of tourism.
It is therefore very important to recognise that as with any other sector of the economy, tourism too is a double edged sword, and one cannot be carried away by its positive impacts alone, thereby completely overlooking the negative ones.

Negative impacts of tourism – need for early recognition & timely remedial action
The concurrent negative effects of tourism are inevitable, but condonable only up to a threshold limit. Such effects are listed below so that one can be vigilant to recognise them early and take remedial actions before the situation gets out of hand.


Land:
• Increased land prices due to tourism-related development and speculation in land
• Pressure to convert agricultural land to non-agricultural purposes, using every means to circumvent any laws that come in the way
• Pressure to flout building regulations, to derive maximum benefit from available land
Supplies & infrastructure:
• Increased general cost of living, shortage of commodities during peak tourist season. Only a portion of the local population derives economic benefit from tourism. But the negative impact affects the entire population.
• Pressure on civic services such as storm water drains, sewers
• Villages face electricity & water shortages due to preferential supplies to tourist centres and hotels
• Insufficient transport facilities to meet the requirements of both locals and tourists
Social and cultural impact:
• Full-moon beach parties, drugs, child sex abuse, prostitution, ogling, eve- teasing and indecent behaviour
• Commercialisation and vulgarisation of local folk traditions, arts and festivals, resulting in a loss to the originality of the performances
• Increased dependence on foreign tourists results in ‘racism’ by way of relatively shoddy treatment to domestic tourists
• Tourists too face problems such as drug related arrests, harassment and extortion, physical abuse and molestation of foreign tourists
Economic impact:
• Displacement of local people, often without suitable resettlement and rehabilitation
• Alienation of pristine properties, through long leases or sale to private developers
• Local people may be denied access to sites, which they hitherto enjoyed
Environmental impact:
• Proliferation of shacks, low cost and sub-standard tourist amenities
• Attempt to regulate by an approval system could backfire as well, with a spurt in amenities that get ‘approval’ through political lobbying
A further note of caution is sounded at Exhibit 10.2.


Environmental Impact Assessment
Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) should be insisted upon for all major tourism projects. This is to ensure that any negative environmental impacts are analyzed and minimized. Also, if developers know that an EIA must be made, they would be more inclined to adopt the environmental planning approach, to avoid having to later modify their plans.
EIA models are primarily designed to study the impact on the physical environment, but sometimes also include socio-cultural and economic impacts resulting therefrom. The idea is that an evaluation of the total financial, economic, environmental and socio-cultural costs and benefits of tourism plans and projects should be made, to arrive at a meaningful overall assessment.
A basic EIA evaluation matrix is presented at Exhibit 10.3, which serves as a checklist or guideline for summarizing and synthesizing the physical environmental impacts, so that a comprehensive evaluation may be made of all the factors. Specimens of EIA summaries for an amusement park and for boating & water-based activities are given at Exhibits 10.4 and 10.5 respectively.
Each factor may be evaluated in terms of possible types and extent of impact. Definition of levels of impact (for example – none, minor, moderate and serious) will need to be made so that the evaluation is systematic. For some factors, such as air and water pollution, quantitative assessment is possible. For other factors, such as landscape aesthetics, qualitative evaluation must be made.
Kerala being an ecologically sensitive state, appropriate pollution control norms may be formulated at the state level in association with the State Pollution Control Board, so that all tourism projects of significant magnitude are brought under the net. Implementation of these norms should be accompanied by a system of local level participation and/or public hearing for clearing projects that are above a certain scale. This will ensure that only projects appropriate to a given place are set up, thus addressing issues of economic, socio-cultural and ecological/environmental impacts at one go.



Exhibit 10.1
ANALYSIS OF REPORTED EARNINGS FROM FOREIGN TOURISTS TO KERALA



Year Reported earning from foreign tourists
to Kerala
(Rs. crores) Implied earning per foreign tourist
to Kerala
(Rs.'000) Reported earning per foreign tourist
to India*
(Rs.'000) Average earning per foreign tourist – Kerala’s as percentage
of India’s Implied earning per foreign tourist to India*
(US dollars)
1 2 3 4 5 6
1986 17.07 3.36 N.A. N.A. N.A.
1987 17.41 3.36 N.A. N.A. N.A.
1988 17.50 3.36 N.A. N.A. N.A.
1989 21.15 3.36 16.63 20.2 998.7
1990 26.99 4.08 19.39 21.0 1080.5
1991 28.28 4.08 29.04 14.0 1186.6
1992 59.75 6.59 40.02 16.5 1305.8
1993 105.72 11.10 43.70 25.4 1393.4
1994 116.11 11.10 45.56 24.4 1450.9
1995 158.76 11.10 47.88 23.2 1431.4
1996 196.38 11.10 50.50 22.0 1507.5
1997 273.20 14.98 53.11 28.2 1429.1
1998 302.08 15.90 57.12 27.8 1357.7
1999 416.07 20.58 64.40 32.0 1486.2
2000 525.30 25.02 66.93 37.4 1465.1
Note: 1. * Excluding nationals of Pakistan and Bangladesh, as visitors from these two countries primarily fall in to the VFR category.
2. A very rapid increase in earning per tourist to Kerala is estimated between 1998 and 2000, thus resulting in doubling of reported total earnings within three years (1997 to 2000), in spite of only a modest increase in tourist arrivals.
3. N.A. = Not available.
Sources: 1.Tourist Statistics, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala
2. Tourism Statistics, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India


Exhibit 10.2
A NOTE OF CAUTION BASED ON EXPERIENCES IN GOA AND OTHER TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN INDIA
Hotel & travel staff in the budget tourism category tend to be poorly paid and employed for only six months in a year, despite the high cost of living in tourist places. Downturn in operations in the off-season leading to delayed payment of salaries and employee strikes are not uncommon.
Realtors build large apartment-blocks during boom periods. These are sold to NRIs and others, thereafter leased back and hired out to tourists. This leads to cut-throat competition, particularly in a depressed market, with apartment blocks masquerading as hotels. As charter operators want cheap accommodation, there is a mad rush towards rent-back apartments.
Builder lobbies have defaced the once-pristine environs of many popular hill stations in India. Many of them have become centres of complete chaos during the peak tourist season. The fragile local eco-systems have been seriously affected and the people’s culture and lifestyle have either been thoroughly modified or commoditised.
Hotels facing low occupancy rates and those housing charter tourists (in Goa) face problems of receiving payments. Charter companies keep bargaining for lower prices. Profits are thin and bills are not paid regularly. Charter markets are volatile and keep changing directions.
Over-concentration in certain areas often adds to the glut. Excessive and high-cost infrastructure created over the years means that some businessmen have no option but to continue with the charters often at progressively reduced rates, year after year.
Many luxury hotels may be eventually compelled to go in for tie-ups with larger groups, to face up to the competition. Entry of global players results in downsizing/retrenchment of workers and also a further price war. 40-50 per cent discounts are often offered on the rack rates.
Efforts to privatise old and historic properties and other major tourism assets could also run into trouble, as rival parties allege favouritism and political interference in the decision.
Though domestic tourists far outnumber foreign tourists, it is believed that foreign tourists account for bulk of the tourist spending. This results in extra-preferential treatment to the foreigners, which at times outrages domestic tourists.
Local muscle power could enter tourism, with growing fight over the cake, which more people have to share. Battles between "shacks" and luxury hotels, taxi-drivers and coach operators, etc., get triggered.
Foreigners may tend to stay for long periods - set up shops in the beach belts, engaging in carpentry, running restaurants, beer shacks, fast food outlets, travel and tours, excursions and adventure tourism.
Private tour operators could take droves of tourists to ecologically fragile interior places, without adequate precautions, leading to rapid environmental degradation.
Eventually, well-heeled tourists turn their back. Rapid degradation in tourist facilities, infrastructure and civic amenities sets in, making the place a has-been destination.



Exhibit 10.3
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT MATRIX
- A CHECKLIST

Type of Impact Extent of Impact
None Minor Moderate Serious Comments
1. Air pollution
2. Surface water pollution, including rivers, streams, lakes, ponds & coastal waters
3. Ground water pollution
4. Pollution of domestic water supply
5. Noise pollution, in general and during peak periods
6. Solid waste disposal problems
7. Water drainage & flooding problems
8. Damage/destruction of flora & fauna
9. Ecological damage, including land & water areas, wetlands, and plant & animal habitats in general
10. Land use & circulation problems within the project area
11. Land use & circulation problems in nearby areas
12. Pedestrian & vehicular congestion in general and during peak periods
13. Landscape aesthetic problems (building design, landscaping, signage, etc.)
14. Environmental health problems, such as malaria and cholera
15. Damage to historic, archaeological & cultural sites
16. Damage to important environmental features, such as large trees, hilltops &
unusual geological formations
17. Erosion, landslides, etc.
18. Damage to project from natural hazards - earthquakes, volcanic eruptions floods, hurricanes
Source: Tourism Planning: An Integrated and Sustainable Development Approach, by Edward Inskeep


Exhibit 10.4
SPECIMEN EIA SUMMARY FOR AN AMUSEMENT PARK

Type of Impact Extent of Impact
None Minor Moderate Serious Comments
Air pollution  Smoking, genset exhausts, etc.
Surface water pollution 
Ground water pollution 
Pollution of domestic water supply 
Noise pollution, in general and during peak periods  Noise from equipment & crowd

Solid waste disposal problems
 During peak season - large number of visitors
Water drainage & flooding problems 
Damage/destruction of flora & fauna  Some of the natural flora and fauna might be destroyed or removed.
Possible effect of spillage of fuels
Ecological damage, including both land & water areas, wetlands, and plant & animal habitats in general

Land use & circulation problems within the project area 
Land use & circulation problems in nearby areas 
Damage to historic, archaeological & cultural sites 
Damage to important environmental features, such as large trees, hilltops, &
unusual geological formations

Erosion, landslides, etc. 
Damage to project from natural hazards
- earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, hurricanes


Note: The above statement is only meant to provide an indication of the principal types of impact that may be applicable and their likely relative
extent of impact.


Exhibit 10.5
SPECIMEN EIA SUMMARY FOR BOATING & WATER-BASED ACTIVITIES

Type of Impact Extent of Impact
None Minor Moderate Serious Comments
Air pollution  Exhaust from motorised boats
Surface water pollution  Waste from
tourist boats
Ground water pollution 
Pollution of domestic water supply 
Noise pollution, in general and during peak periods  Noise from boats
Solid waste disposal problems  From visitors
Water drainage & flooding problems 
Damage/destruction of flora & fauna 
Ecological damage, including both land & water areas, wetlands, and plant &
animal habitats in general

Land use & circulation problems within the project area 
Land use & circulation problems in nearby areas 
Damage to historic, archaeological & cultural sites 
Damage to important environmental features, such as large trees, hilltops, & unusual geological formations

Erosion, landslides, etc. 
Damage to project from natural hazards - earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, hurricanes
 Location on river/water body bank

Note: The above statement is only meant to provide an indication of the
principal types of impact that may be applicable and their likely relative extent of impact.




This chapter brings out possible regional priorities in tourism planning within Kerala, considering demographic, economic and other issues. However, these could only be additional considerations, provided, it is prima facie meaningful to invest in tourism development in a given region.
In this chapter, south, central and north Kerala are defined as indicated below. South Kerala: Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts Central Kerala: Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad districts
North Kerala: Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts
Demographic issues
District-wise highlights of selected population data are presented in Exhibit 11.1. Though not directly evident from the data given here, population density is quite high in the coastal plains. Consequently, large-scale land intensive developments are difficult to implement here. However, the higher population results in a greater level of social carrying capacity. The interior highlands are comparatively sparsely populated. Availability of land for low density resort and other developments is higher here. But care has to be taken that prime forest land or other ecologically or economically sensitive land is not diverted for tourism purposes. Social carrying capacity also becomes an issue in small communities.
Districts such as Kannur, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha and Thrissur are relatively more urbanised, and have comparatively stronger infrastructure to serve as nodal points for tourism. Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam-Kochi are already major tourism nodal points, followed by Kozhikode. In order to disperse tourism to other areas and ease congestion in the two prime nodes, the positions of Kozhikode and Kannur in particular may be strengthened. This would also facilitate growth of tourism in north Kerala. Other urban areas (Exhibit 11.2) can be developed to serve as minor hubs through the development of commensurate accommodation and other facilities. At present, 50 per cent of hotel accommodation in Kerala is concentrated in Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram districts.

Economic parameters
The tertiary sector’s contribution to Kerala’s Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) has increased significantly in recent years, with a corresponding decline in the share of the primary sector. The share of the secondary sector has remained practically unchanged (Exhibit 11.3).


The primary sector’s contribution to NSDP is highest in Idukki, Wayanad, Pathanamthitta and Kasaragod districts, as a result of plantation and forest areas (Exhibit 11.4). Areas of intensive irrigated rice cultivation in some parts of the coastal plains would also be an important component of the economy that should not be disturbed in one’s zest for developing tourism.
Malappuram district has the lowest per capita income, way below the state average. Palakkad, Alappuzha, Kannur, Pathanamthitta and Kozhikode districts too have lower than state average per capita incomes (Exhibit 11.5). Other things remaining the same, these districts would deserve greater investments in tourism and other economic activities, to facilitate improvement in income levels.
Kollam, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Kannur and Thrissur are the only districts having at least 4 per cent of the total population employed in industries (Exhibit 11.6). This suggests that alternative opportunities should preferably be created.
Kerala has very high levels of unemployment. Work seekers as a percentage of the population is highest in south and central Kerala, due to higher education levels, migration to the principal urban nodes and lack of corresponding employment opportunities (Executive 11.7). Perhaps more opportunities could be created in the northern part of the state, which is less saturated in all respects.

Land utilisation & environmental considerations
An oft-repeated observation is that as compared to most other states in India, Kerala has very little vacant/unutilised land that can be offered for tourism development. Going by the criterion that barren and uncultivable land could be utilised for certain types of tourism projects, Palakkad, Kasaragod, Malappuram, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts would stand out as the most likely regions for establishing tourism projects that can make do with such land (Exhibit 11.8).
More importantly, preparation of a composite map of the State showing the environmentally sensitive areas and development constraints would be an important starting point, to ensure that tourism does not generate ecological problems. Such an exercise could also form the basis for preparing and adopting an environmental law, applicable to all types of development.
The environmentally sensitive areas may be delineated based on several criteria:
• Prime agricultural lands, such as irrigated paddy fields
• Lands that contain important flora and fauna
• Areas of important geological features
• Pattern of ground water aquifers
Other aspects that could be considered and mapped are:
• Areas unsuitable for development due to physiological or other constraints
• Areas distant from tourist entry points and complementary tourist attractions
Such analysis would help to identify suitable places for tourism development in a systematic manner.


Exhibit 11.1
DISTRICT-WISE HIGHLIGHTS OF SELECTED POPULATION DATA FOR KERALA
(2001 CENSUS)


Sl.
No.
District Population
(million) Persons per
sq.km. Decadal growth %
1991-01 Urban population
%
1 Thiruvananthapuram 3.235 1476 9.78 33.78
2 Kollam 2.584 1038 7.33 18.03
3 Pathanamthitta 1.232 574 3.72 10.03
4 Alappuzha 2.105 1496 5.21 29.36
5 Kottayam 1.953 722 6.76 15.35
6 Idukki 1.129 252 6.96 5.07
7 Ernakulam 3.098 1050 9.09 47.56
8 Thrissur 2.975 981 8.70 28.21
9 Palakkad 2.617 584 9.86 13.62
10 Malappuram 3.630 1022 17.22 9.81
11 Kozhikode 2.878 1228 9.87 38.25
12 Wayanad 0.787 369 17.04 3.76
13 Kannur 2.412 813 7.13 50.46
14 Kasaragod 1.203 604 12.30 19.42
KERALA 31.839 819 9.42 25.97

Source: 1. Statistics for Planning 2001, Govt. of Kerala
2. Census of India, 2001


Exhibit 11.2
URBAN CENTRES IN KERALA WITH 50,000+ POPULATION
(2001 CENSUS)

S. No. Urban centre District Population
1 Kochi U.A. (including Kalamassery, Thrippunithura, Edathala, Aluva, etc.) Ernakulam 1,355,406
2 Thiruvananthapuram U.A. Thiruvananthapuram 889,191
3 Kozhikode U.A. (including Beypore, Cheruvannur, etc.) Kozhikode 880,168
4 Kannur U.A. (including Thalassery, etc.) Kannur 498,175
5 Kollam U.A. Kollam 379,975
6 Thrissur U.A. Thrissur 330,067
7 Alappuzha U.A. Alappuzha 282,727
8 Palakkad U.A. Palakkad 197,281
9 Kottayam U.A. Kottayam 172,867
10 Malappuram U.A. Malappuram 170,364
11 Cherthala U.A. Alappuzha 141,512
12 Guruvayoor U.A Thrissur 138,676
13 Kanhangad U.A. Kasaragod 129,364
14 Vadakara U.A. Kozhikode 123,965
15 Kodungallur U.A. Thrissur 94,881
16 Ponnani (M) Malappuram 87,356
17 Manjeri (M) Malappuram 83,704
18 Kasaragod (M) Kasaragod 76,011
19 Neyyattinkara (M) Thiruvananthapuram 69,435
20 Quilandy (M) Kozhikode 68,970
21 Payyannur (M) Kannur 68,711
22 Chittur-Thathamangalam U.A. Palakkad 67,928
23 Thaliparamba (M) Kannur 67,441
24 Kayamkulam (M) Alappuzha 67,151
25 Thiruvalla (M) Pathanamthitta 56,828
26 Nedumangad (M) Thiruvananthapuram 56,138
27 Tirur (M) Malappuram 53,650
28 Changanassery (M) Kottayam 52,445
29 Kunnamkulam (M) Thrissur 51,585

Note: 1. U.A. = Urban Agglomeration; M = Municipality
2. Populations indicated against urban agglomerations include those of out growths and contiguous towns also.
Source: Census of India, 2001







Exhibit 11.3
SECTORAL DISTRIBUTION OF KERALA’S NET STATE DOMESTIC PRODUCT AT CONSTANT PRICES
(1993-94 TO 1999-2000)

Base year 1993-94


Year Total NSDP
(Rs lakhs) Sectoral break-up (percentage)
Primary Secondary Tertiary
1993-94 2,385,107 32.2 20.3 47.5
1994-95 2,590,792 32.6 21.0 46.4
1995-96 2,694,747 30.9 21.2 47.9
1996-97 2,802,645 30.6 20.3 49.1
1997-98 2,863,315 28.2 20.5 51.3
1998-99 2,985,358 27.0 20.5 52.5
1999-00 3,111,132 25.8 20.5 53.7

Source: Statistics for Planning 2001, Government of Kerala (Department of Economics & Statistics)


Exhibit 11.4
DISTRICT WISE SECTORAL DISTRIBUTION OF KERALA’S NET STATE DOMESTIC PRODUCT AT CONSTANT PRICES


Sl.
No.
District Sectoral break-up (percentage)
Primary Secondary Tertiary
1 Thiruvananthapuram 22 19 59
2 Kollam 33 22 46
3 Pathanamthitta 38 12 50
4 Alappuzha 16 29 55
5 Kottayam 29 16 55
6 Idukki 59 9 33
7 Ernakulam 21 25 54
8 Thrissur 21 25 55
9 Palakkad 27 19 54
10 Malappuram 31 15 54
11 Kozhikode 27 19 54
12 Wayanad 53 7 40
13 Kannur 30 21 49
14 Kasaragod 35 24 42
KERALA 28 20 52
Note: District wise sectoral percentages presented above are averages of available data for recent years.
Source: Economic Review of Kerala, 2000-01
(Department of Economics & Statistics, Govt of Kerala)



Exhibit 11.5
DISTRICT-WISE PER CAPITA INCOME AT CONSTANT PRICES
(1997-98 TO 1999-2000)
(Rs.)

District
1997-
98
1998-
99*
1999-
2000**
Average % change 1999-2000
over 1997-
98
Thiruvananthapuram 9455 9776 10252 9828 + 8.4
Kollam 9180 9469 10088 9579 + 9.9
Pathanamthitta 8990 9230 9699 9306 + 7.9
Alappuzha 8723 9066 9253 9014 + 6.1
Kottayam 9873 10160 10973 10335 +11.1
Idukki 10083 10226 9629 9979 - 4.5
Ernakulam 11223 11656 11709 11529 + 4.3
Thrissur 9442 9792 10624 9953 +12.5
Palakkad 7836 8085 8549 8153 + 9.1
Malappuram 6558 6771 6764 6698 + 3.1
Kozhikode 9011 9339 9668 9339 + 7.3
Wayanad 9054 9179 10790 9674 +19.2
Kannur 9126 9389 9348 9288 + 2.4
Kasaragod 9769 10014 9452 9745 - 3.2
KERALA 9079 9371 9678 9376 + 6.6
* Provisional estimate * * Quick estimate
Source: Statistics for Planning 2001, Government of Kerala





Exhibit 11.6
DISTRICT WISE INDUSTRIAL EMPLOYMENT


Sl.
No.

District In registered factories
as on 31.12.1999 In small scale units as on
31.3.1999
Total industrial employment Industrial employment as
% of district
population in 2001
1 Thiruvananthapuram 29,799 79,233 109,032 3.37
2 Kollam 145,699 140,655 286,354 11.08
3 Pathanamthitta 10,945 29,390 40,335 3.28
4 Alappuzha 25,413 87,220 112,633 5.35
5 Kottayam 18,410 66,871 85,281 4.37
6 Idukki 8,102 17,708 25,810 2.29
7 Ernakulam 72,325 121,863 194,188 6.27
8 Thrissur 43,382 80,648 124,030 4.17
9 Palakkad 24,823 70,732 95,555 3.65
10 Malappuram 10,667 33,864 44,531 1.23
11 Kozhikode 29,870 65,201 95,071 3.30
12 Wayanad 2,725 10,584 13,309 1.69
13 Kannur 24,253 77,007 101,260 4.20
14 Kasaragod 4,482 28,883 33,365 2.77
KERALA 450,895 909,859 1,360,754 4.27

Source: 1. Statistics for Planning 2001, Government of Kerala
2. Economic Review of Kerala, 2001 (Directorate of Economics and Statistics)



Exhibit 11.7
DISTRICT WISE WORK SEEKERS AS PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL POPULATION

Sl.
No.
District No. of work seekers as on 31.10.2000 Work seekers as % of district population
in 2001
1 Thiruvananthapuram 619,468 19.2
2 Kollam 498,564 19.3
3 Pathanamthitta 157,576 12.8
4 Alappuzha 377,331 17.9
5 Kottayam 283,280 14.5
6 Idukki 133,185 11.8
7 Ernakulam 425,196 13.7
8 Thrissur 348,886 11.7
9 Palakkad 285,350 10.9
10 Malappuram 245,088 6.8
11 Kozhikode 373,497 13.0
12 Wayanad 855,80 10.9
13 Kannur 256,286 10.6
14 Kasaragod 96,584 8.0
KERALA 4,185,871 13.1
Source: Economic Review of Kerala, 2002-01 (Directorate of Employment & Training)


Exhibit 11.8
DISTRICT-WISE LAND UTILISATION PATTERN IN KERALA



Sl.
No.
District Total area (sq.km.) Utilisation pattern (%)
Agri- culture
#
Forest Non- agri
uses@ Barren
/uncult i-vable
Others*
1 Thiruvananthapuram 2,192 67.1 22.8 9.0 0.3 0.8
2 Kollam 2,491 57.9 32.3 8.4 0.1 1.3
3 Pathanamthitta 2,642 35.9 57.8 5.2 0.2 0.9
4 Alappuzha 1,414 76.4 -- 16.5 0.1 7.0
5 Kottayam 2,203 82.5 3.7 10.1 0.8 2.9
6 Idukki 5,019 42.3 50.7 2.8 1.7 2.5
7 Ernakulam 2,407 77.3 3.5 14.6 4.0 0.6
8 Thrissur 3,032 52.7 34.6 8.6 3.9 0.2
9 Palakkad 4,480 48.8 31.0 9.5 9.3 1.4
10 Malappuram 3,550 57.2 28.5 7.6 5.6 1.1
11 Kozhikode 2,344 70.4 17.7 9.8 1.5 0.6
12 Wayanad 2,131 55.8 37.1 4.3 2.4 0.4
13 Kannur 2,966 70.6 16.4 8.9 2.6 1.5
14 Kasaragod 1,992 74.8 2.9 8.5 8.6 5.2
KERALA 38,863 59.0 27.8 8.2 3.9 1.1
Note: 1. # Includes net sown area, land under miscellaneous crops, permanent pastures & grazing land.
2. @ Includes human habitation, industries, etc.
3. * Includes cultivable waste & fallow land.
Source: Kerala at a Glance 1998 – Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Govt of Kerala



Cultural attractions in Kerala
Museums, palaces, places of worship and forts constitute the principal physical assets under heritage and culture tourism. Complementing these are cultural and religious festivals, performing arts, martial arts, fine arts, handicrafts & cuisine.
The Kerala style of architecture with gabled roof buildings, cultural festivals/performances, handicrafts and cuisine lend a distinct identity to the State. Kerala really does not have magnificent historical monuments and major archaeological sites, which form the mainstay of tourism in many other parts of India. Nevertheless, heritage and cultural tourism constitutes the dominant component among both domestic and foreign tourists visiting the State.
Among the available assets, it is imperative to identify and focus upon those that are outstanding enough to attract and satisfy the varied interests of both overseas and domestic tourists, and are also readily accessible to accommodation areas and population centres.
Heritage & cultural tourism in urban areas
Major cities like Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode serve as gateways to their respective regions and also have significant tourist attractions in themselves such as museums, parks, historic places, shopping areas, etc. Planning in urban areas is constrained because most urban attractions are located in congested city centres, and that is also where most tourists wish to stay in order to see as much as possible in short time periods. The solution lies in redevelopment and conservation of traditional city centres, which is the approach being taken the by the Kerala Tourism Department. Plans are afoot to improve down town areas including the Fort area of Thiruvananthapuram and the Fort Kochi heritage sites.
However, tourism cannot be seen as a panacea for inner city redevelopment and revitalization as it may not be able to fully meet and justify the cost of necessary improvements. Expenditures on urban development should be based on diversified economic use and not create an over-reliance on tourism. Urban tourism plan should be prepared as part of or integrated with the comprehensive development plan, to avoid conflict with other projects and priorities.
The Tourism Department has several proposals for Fort Kochi including a Tourist Amenity Centre with various facilities. The project, planned by INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage), is estimated to cost Rs. 4.9 million.
Legal regulations for preservation of historic heritage areas of cities and towns may be essential to preserve their character. New developments would have to be disallowed, unless they are compatible with the historic character. Incentives


may have to be offered to restore existing buildings and renovate interiors for modern functions, as otherwise no owner would like to retain an existing building merely for its heritage value, unless it can be put to economic use.
Because of their narrow and obsolete street patterns, control of vehicular traffic and pollution affecting the historic buildings could become a significant problem. Wherever possible, complete or partial pedestrianisation would be a solution, by creating parking areas outside the designated historic zone.
Modern entertainment and relaxation avenues such as public parks, promenades, and various recreation centres can supplement the available attractions, and provide opportunities for outings to both tourists and locals.
The newly formed Centre for Studies in Culture and Heritage of Cochin (CSCHC) plans to evolve strategies for preservation, conservation and effective management of the cultural heritage of Kochi, including Kodungalloor (Cranganore), Chennamangalam and Thrippunithura. The ancient port town of Muciris, is believed to have existed near the converging point of River Periyar and the sea, near Kodungalloor. CSHC is taking initiatives to identify heritage properties, which have so far not been listed. CSCHC will also extend support for their conservation and management. This brings to the fore the possible concept of a heritage circuit comprising of Kochi, together with Thrippunithura, Chennamangalam and Kodungalloor, all of which are fairly close by.
The Tourism Department has also taken up improvement works in some museums like the Napier Museum and Hill Palace Museum. The end objective should be to develop important museums including the Madhavan Nair Foundation and Kerala History Museums to international standards with up-to- date interpretation systems and interactive audio-visual facilities. Sound and light show is already available in one of the museums. Museum retailing is also an important component that needs upgradation. Replicas of interesting items in the museum, other artifacts, books, audio-visual cassettes/CDs, etc., could be sold through such outlets. Such mementos would make the visit to the museums more memorable to the tourists.
Presented at Exhibits 12.1 to 12.3 are brief expositions on three possible models for tourism development that would draw strength from the local culture, arts and life style of Kerala. Suitable elements of the same could be incorporated into other projects or separate projects along the models outlined could also be considered at suitable locations.
Cultural festivals, performing arts, martial arts, fine arts, handicrafts & cuisine
Kerala’s religious/cultural festivals and celebrations such as Thrissur Pooram, boat races in Alappuzha and such others attract considerable tourist interest. Performing, ritual and martial art forms like Kathakali, Theyyam and Kalarippayattu have also been receiving exposure.


However, the considerable wealth of mural arts available in various temples is not accessible to all tourists. Local cuisine too would be an added element, if widely offered and popularised in hotels and restaurants frequented by tourists. This potential is not adequately exploited.
Handicrafts are already available but could be improved in variety and quality, with emphasis on maintaining authenticity. Important handicraft items from Kerala are wood carvings & models of rose wood, sandal wood, etc. (snake boats, elephants, figurines), coir & coconut shell products, sea shell products, papier mache & wood products (Kathakali masks, etc.), percussion instruments (small size chenda, maddalam, mridangam and edakka carved out of logs), granite idols, cast bell metal work and jewellery.
Religious tourism – ringing the prayer bells
Kerala has a mosaic of religious places of Hindu, Christian and Muslim faiths. The popular ones among these attract pilgrims/devotees from different parts of Kerala and also from outside the State, particularly on special occasions.
A large number of Hindu temples in Kerala are managed by Devaswom Boards. There are nearly 1,300 temples under the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) alone, which controls temples in the erstwhile Travancore State. Similarly, the Cochin Devaswom Board has nearly 400 temples in its jurisdiction in the former Cochin State. Then comes Malabar Devaswom Board, which too manages hundreds of temples. The larger temples have temple guest houses/bhajana mathams that provide basic accommodation and facilities at affordable costs.
One view is that the sanctity of places of worship would get diluted and they would get commercialised if associated with tourism. However, pilgrims and devotees too are tourists by definition, when they camp at a location away from their place of residence. The pilgrim centres too need infrastructure and other facilities, just like other tourist centres (Refer Exhibit 12.4 on Sabarimala).
The religious tourism market is too large to be ignored. Also, many pilgrims do expect better facilities, travel comfortably and camp in good hotels. The Central Tourism Department has identified Guruvayoor, Kerala’s most popular pilgrim centre after Sabarimala, as one of the important pilgrim centres in India, the development of which it would like to support.
Kerala has stricter entry regulations and dress codes for Hindu temples compared to other states in India. An issue that merits consideration of temple administrators is to relax the restrictions, at least selectively. Specified portions of important temples with exquisite sculpture, wood work, murals, temple museums, etc., can be considered to be thrown open to lay tourists during certain hours, with relaxed dress code, that does not compromise on basic decorum.
Both Christianity and Islam came to Kerala long before they were introduced in other parts of India. Some of the churches associated with St.Thomas and others that are in close proximity to each other and also heritage mosques could form part of travel circuits focused at tourists with special interests.


Exhibit 12.1
RURAL TOURISM – A HOLISTIC AND UNIQUE CONCEPT IN CULTURE & LIFESTYLE TOURISM

Rural tourism offers immense potential in employment, infrastructure development and income generation in the rural setting. However, rural tourism can also cause damage, if not pursued in a responsible and sustainable manner. The benefits, nonetheless, if they actually accrue, outweigh the negatives.

Rural tourism could be centered on a historical site, a heritage property, a plantation/farm, a pilgrim/cultural centre, a place of scenic beauty, etc.

One alternative is to develop an existing village with some product(s) of tourist interest into a ‘tourist village', where tourists can camp and spend a few days. An entire village can be cleaned, repaired, restored, provided with traditional pathways, street lanterns, landscaping, etc., to offer an idyllic setting. However, this requires not only an acceptance and active involvement by the local population, but also a clear understanding as to how to go about it in a manner that would minimise negative effects.

A model implementation method is to form a village committee, involving local elected representatives, opinion leaders from among the local population, officials from various departments, NGOs, architectural schools/firms, etc. Among the many possible benefits, such a scheme would improve the general quality of life, stimulate entrepreneurship among local people (some of whom may set up accommodation facilities, establish profitable businesses in handicrafts, etc.) and prompt them to acquire various types of formal and informal education and skills.

But this approach definitely has a high degree of risk. Traditional hospitality may be supplanted by a mercenary attitude, there could be distortion/ commercialisation of indigenous forms of art and culture and a threat to traditional vocations.

A simpler interim alternative would be to identify clusters of tourist spots in the hinterland of urban centres (that reflect the local life styles) having reasonable infrastructure and develop circuits that can be covered through day trips. This is already being done to some extent, by combining backwater tours with visits to fishing communities, coir making units, etc.

However, the proposed Kerala Gramam (Kerala Village) project at Thanthonnithuruthu island in the Kochi backwaters would be more of a usual commercial venture with hotels and business centres set in a rural ambience, and does not follow the pattern suggested above.


Exhibit 12.2
HERITAGE VILLAGE –A THEME DESTINATION PROVIDING A SLICE OF LOCAL LIFESTYLE AND TRADITIONS
An alternative to rural tourism is to create a heritage village in a green field site. This side steps some of the risks and difficulties associated with developing rural tourism, though at the cost of compromising on authenticity.
The principal objective of a heritage village is once again to provide foreign tourists and NRIs in particular, a feel for the local social and cultural life and traditional cuisine set in appropriate accommodation. Of late, such demand has been exploited by the private sector in different parts of India, such as Sterling Swamimalai (Tamilnadu), Vishala (Ahmedabad) and the havelis in Rajasthan. A similar concept blending with Kerala’s culture can be developed. There are relatively few resorts of this kind and this market niche offers good scope.
It is estimated that about 100 acres of land may be required to develop the heritage village fully. The Department of Tourism may have to identify and make available suitable land on long lease (say, for 30 years initially) to potential investors for this purpose. However, it is important that the heritage village is close to a major tourist node/district headquarters.
The core elements of the heritage village concept are:
• Accommodation with all modern comforts built in the architectural style of the region. The accommodation should preferably be a cluster of independent cottages laid out in a rural setting for up-market tourists.
• A tourist complex with a capacity of 150 beds can be considered.
• An exclusive restaurant offering local cuisine. The restaurant should be manned by people in local traditional costumes, and the dishes could be served in a traditional setting. The restaurant can be used to popularize local food items and traditional sweet & savories.
• Other restaurants to cater to various tastes.
• There could be an artisans’ complex housing around 50 artisan families. This complex could be integrated with an exhibition hall/gallery.
• A village bazaar selling various items of local/regional produce. Handicraft and handloom items of the region can find a market here.
• A mini horticultural garden with species of trees, creepers and ornamentals specific to the state can be developed. This can be designed similar to gardens described in ancient literature.
• To cater to children of different age groups, theme worlds can be created based on local fables and mythological characters.

Contd…




Exhibit 12.2 (Contd...)


• A conference hall with a business centre can also be incorporated.
• Folk dances and other local performing arts of the region may be organized in an amphitheatre. A-state-of-the-art auditorium with a seating capacity of 200 people can be developed.
Other additional features of the heritage village, which can be developed in stages are:
• A museum/art gallery displaying artifacts covering agricultural implements, cooking utensils, toys, pooja articles, costumes, other articles of household use, etc., of different periods and places in Kerala.
• An artificial lake and man-made forest can be developed.
• A complex incorporating features of traditional architecture may be built, where sound and light shows can be conducted on the heritage of the state.
• A science and technology centre can be considered. A centre for educating children on environment with appropriate landscaping can be developed.

The above concept will provide a refreshing break to a foreign tourist from visits to other types of tourist sites. However, the assistance of professional institutions such as the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, ought to be taken to develop the concept. Brand development and marketing would be very essential to make the venture successful.
The project cost of the heritage village is estimated to be Rs 30 crores, in the first phase. Additional investments may be made in phases to add more features. The revenue inflows would be from accommodation rents, food & beverages, rent and royalty from crafts village, income from conference hall, amphitheatre, children’s world, horticultural garden, etc.




Exhibit 12.3
BUSINESS TOURISM – ATTRACTING THE ‘MICE’
ON A CULTURAL PLANK
‘Meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions’ (MICE) form the new mantra of tourism development. Business tourism is a growing segment, with higher spending power and potential for combining business with pleasure.
While Kerala is not a significant business destination, its calm and serene environs could make it an attractive meeting venue for corporates. This would also introduce business and professional decision makers to the state, which in turn can open the gates for investments in other areas.
Hotels and resorts focusing on foreign tourists can increase occupancy during the lean April-September season, by focusing on the meetings and seminars market, through appropriate packages as may be necessary.
Hotels/resorts with traditional architecture and ambience, can position themselves to offer business tourism packages incorporating cultural performances, local cuisine, ayurvedic rejuvenation, etc., that could lend uniqueness and special image to the product.
Kerala is in one corner of the country and far removed from the main business centres. Though remoteness itself could lend enigma and fascination, the high domestic air fares make it unattractive. However, neighbouring states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are well ahead into industrialisation, and could provide the potential to tap business tourism. This opportunity includes business meetings, small conferences, in-house training, all combined with holidays in exotic locations in the state.
Further, Kerala is also in the international crossroads between the Middle East/Europe and Far East/Australia. Kerala already has air links with the Middle East and Singapore. This advantage could be utilised to attract the international community for business tourism to the state. Though seemingly far fetched at present, this could be developed gradually with a clear vision and concerted efforts. This would essentially require upgradation of relevant infrastructure – communication facilities, business lounges at airports, conference and business facilities in hotels & resorts, innovative packages for combining business with pleasure, brand building and marketing of Kerala as a business/conference destination.
One could rightly say that the Kerala Gramam project referred to in the previous Exhibit is oriented along these lines.


Exhibit 12.4
SABARIMALA – DEVASWOM BOARD’S MASTER PLAN TO EASE CAPACITY CONSTRAINTS
The Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala (Pathanamthitta district), is the largest revenue earner for the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) and has found a place in the Guinness Book for the maximum number of pilgrims visiting any religious site during a single day.
The pilgrim inflow into Sabarimala has increased from 12.1 million in 1995 to
million in the year 2000. Annual revenue is of the order of Rs.600 million.
The temple is open only during specific days/periods during the year. Consequently, there is peak rush, especially during the December-January mandala pooja and makara vilakku period. Over 10 million devotees throng the shrine during this short two-month season alone. Crowd management and providing various amenities and facilities become Herculean tasks. Although there was a proposal to keep the temple open almost right through the year, it has not been possible to take such a decision.
The shrine falls within the Periyar Tiger Reserve area. Fuel wood collection from the forest, more demand for forest land for new constructions, threat of a proposed Angamali – Sabarimala railway line, etc., are some of the problems.
Pilgrims too face problems in terms of shortage of hygienic food and water, sanitation, accommodation, parking space, medical amenities, etc. But the main concern is one of pollution and consequent health hazard to both humans and wildlife. The threat of an epidemic looms large during every pilgrim season.
A recent Assembly Environment Committee report has expressed grave concern about the possibility of an epidemic during the pilgrim season. It says that Pamba has become one of the most polluted rivers in Kerala. The Committee is surprised that nothing much has been done in spite of the fact that the Sabarimala temple brings substantial revenue to the Travancore Devaswom Board and the Kerala government, and has suggested an action plan.
The huge quantum of human excreta floating in the Pamba river is a major hazard. About 1,200 tonnes of excreta clogs into the Pamba each season. A large number of pilgrims and residents along the river banks use the water from the Nunanjar and the Pamba for drinking and bathing. Besides, many rural water supply schemes depend on them.
Wild animals die due to consumption of contaminated water, bacteria infested food discarded by the pilgrims and also due to consumption of plastic carry bags, which litter the route despite a ban on carrying plastic bags to Sabarimala.
Pilgrims leave behind donkeys brought to carry loads to the hill shrine. These become carriers of contagious diseases to wild animals, especially predators and scavengers.
Contd...


Exhibit 12.4 (Contd...)
Further, around 500 tonnes of coconut shells, 10 tonnes of plastic, paper and various other packing materials are reported to be generated during each season. 150 tonnes of firewood are consumed per season. The four-kilometre forest route from Pamba to Sabarimala is degraded, with stall owners clearing the foliage at will.
Several plans and proposals have been put forward to remedy the situation at various times. Some water supply, sanitation and other projects have been implemented from time to time, which have at best served as stop-gap or half- hearted measures.
However, the camping of the pilgrims at Pamba (from where the 4-km trek to the shrine starts) is seen to be the principal constraint. Limitations on further development on forest land in the Tiger Reserve prevents augmentation of accommodation, water supply, sanitation, parking and other facilities. One suggestion is that pilgrims coming in from certain directions should not be allowed through Pamba, and should be diverted through other routes to Sabarimala. It has also been recommended in various contexts in the past that the practice of pilgrims camping at Pamba itself should be discontinued.
The recent Sabarimala Master Plan got prepared by the Travancore Devaswom Board adopts this as the principal route to find a solution. The master plan proposes setting up of an integrated base camp spread over 119 acres near Nilakkal temple, an area now under lease with the Farming Corporation of India, which has developed rubber plantations. The lease expires in December 2002, and Devaswom Board’s principal submission is that this land should be made available to it subsequently.
The Board plans to develop this land into a self-contained township with all amenities to ease the pressure during the peak pilgrim season. Pilgrims could be taken in TDB’s vehicles from here to Pamba and they could return without staying there. From this camp, the authorities could also control the flow, by sending in more people only after an earlier batch has returned.
The distance from Pamba to Nilakkal is 12 km and this could be reduced further to 6 km by developing the existing ghat road via the Attathodu Girijan colony. An alternative route could also be developed by linking Erumeli and Pamba, by extending the existing road by 10 km from Thulappalli to Pamba.
Another 25 acres of land are sought at the base camp, the Sannidhanam hilltop and also along the trekking path for initiating various development programs.

Sources: 1. Discussions with Travancore Devaswom Board
2. Sri Sabarimala Development – A Perspective Plan, Travancore Devaswom Board, May 2001
3. Various press reports on Sabarimala





Eco-tourism is a concept that can be applied to any nature-related tourism product, including hill stations, areas of natural beauty, forests & wildlife, and even beaches and backwaters. This chapter begins with the concept of eco-tourism and goes on to focus on hill station tourism. Forests & wildlife, beaches and backwaters are covered in the chapters that follow.

Eco-tourism – a model for ensuring sustainable tourism
Eco-tourism is nature-based tourism that involves understanding and appreciation of the natural environment, in an ecologically sustainable manner, while producing economic opportunities that make conservation of natural resources beneficial to local people. Eco-tourism is a new concept in tourism and is a fast growing segment, internationally.

Kerala’s lush green western ghat region and forest areas provide ample scope for development of eco-tourism. Eco-tourism is relatively less demanding in terms of infrastructure, thereby having a lower impact on the environment.

For eco-tourism to be sustained, environment and management planning for the natural area are necessary. The plan should ensure protection of the local environment and ecology, and also establish as to how sufficient income can be provided to the area to support improved management.

Possible eco-tourism activities include:

1. Trekking 5. Study of flora & fauna 8. Staying in natural caves
2. Nature/wilderness trails 6. Ecological studies 9. Camping in the outdoors
3. Rock climbing 7. Elephant/horse riding in natural/forest areas
4. Mountaineering

In the planning process, care should be taken to ensure the participation of component players of the tourism industry and other stake holders such as the private sector, local communities, NGOs, etc.


The Thenmala Eco-tourism Project (Exhibit 13.1) is proudly claimed to be India’s first planned eco-tourism destination. While the concept has been systematically planned, the first phase implemented so far is primarily a general tourism product catering to mass tourism, with a focus on natural environment and orientation of the tourist about the importance of sustainable tourism. One would have to wait for implementation of further phases of the project and their successful operations.
The Thenmala Eco-tourism Promotion Society has ideas for many more eco- tourism projects in the forest and hilly areas of the State (Exhibit 13.2). An earlier booklet on the subject too had identified several potential eco-tourism destinations (Exhibit 13.3), which in effect are sites of natural scenic beauty, hill stations or forest areas, with potential for tourism development.
Nevertheless, the awareness and interest in eco-tourism as a concept is what is encouraging and the real test would be to see it actually practised in letter and spirit across the State.
Sustainable tourism in hill stations and hilly areas
Kerala’s best known hill station today is Munnar, which attracts about 50,000 tourists per annum. Munnar is a far cry from the usual crowded and congested hill stations like Ooty and Mussourie. It is relatively calm and serene. However, Munnar too has seen considerable deterioration and there is no place for complacency. If the growth in tourism goes unchecked, it could become another Ooty in the not too distant future. The encouraging signs however are that the use of plastic bags has been recently banned in Munnar and that a carrying capacity study for this place is carried out.
An important issue that rises in the case of Munnar and other areas of this kind is the balance between the local plantation economy and tourism. For example, Tata Tea alone provides employment to about 21,000 persons in a 30 km radius around Munnar. It is important to ensure that the plantation economy of this region is not tipped off its balance due to the growth of tourism. The fully self- contained and insulated economy of the plantation region has become open to the vagaries of the outside world. With the growth in tourism, local people say they are affected by increased prices of day to day consumable items, auto rickshaw fares, etc. Safety and privacy have reduced. The tourism season increases absenteeism in the plantations. Munnar town has become dirtier over the years. While the water supply position is reasonable, solid waste disposal is a problem and the power system is overloaded.
Opening up these areas to tourism poses other problems as well. The lake at Devikulam for example is in the middle of a large labour colony and its water is used for drinking. Boating and other tourist activities would therefore bring in accompanying detrimental effects. Plantations and the accompanying facilities primarily constitute a working area and any intrusion in the name of tourism disturbs the ongoing primary activity.



One suggestion that emerges is that tourism development should be encouraged more in places where the plantation or other form of local economy is on the downslide due to extraneous reasons. It is said that the region around Peerumedu would be a suitable location going by this criterion.

Opportunities for further development of tourism in hill stations and hilly areas
Places of scenic beauty in the hilly areas of the State provide several opportunities such as the following, depending on the features of a given place:

1. Pleasure driving with stops at scenic view points 4. Camping
2. Picnicking in outdoor recreation areas 5. Rock climbing
3. Short/long distance trekking in natural areas with conservation 6. Lake/river boating/rafting

Remote scenic areas offer opportunities for adventure-oriented tourists. Nelliampathy in Palakkad district evidently offers potential for gliding. There is a 300-meter high formation with good air flow. However, standby helicopter evacuation service would have to be available in readiness in case of a medical emergency, for serious adventure tourism such as mountain climbing and river rafting in remote areas.

The primary focus now is on the proposed large-scale development in Wagamon in Idukki district for which private participation is being scouted for.

With some developments already in place in parts of Wayanad district, it would be appropriate to explore the possibility of further investments in this region to achieve economies of clustering and integration of tourism activities, so that they can benefit from common access roads, transportation and other facilities.
Other places like Pythalmala, Ranipuram, etc., would have to be evaluated and suitably developed.
Road-oriented advertising signs (strictly controlled and regulated) in appropriate scenic places can be used to generate revenues. The revenues can be used for attractive landscaping.
Hilly areas can be sensitive to tourism from ecological, environmental and also economic angles. Care should be taken to ensure that places for development are chosen with proper analysis and only such infrastructure and tourism activities are encouraged that do not disturb or negatively impact upon the place.


Exhibit 13.1
THENMALA ECO-TOURISM PROJECT

The first phase of the Thenmala Eco-tourism Project, claimed to be India's first planned eco-tourism destination, was commissioned in January 2001. The project cost for the phase completed so far, is Rs.1560 million. This was designed and developed by Thenmala Eco-tourism Promotion Society (TEPS), a government organisation established in 1998. The project envisages three major components, i.e., eco-friendly general tourism, eco-tourism and eco- pilgrimage circuit.
The operational heart of the project has been built around the Kallada irrigation dam (in Kollam district) in a 60-acre area flanked by forests. All facilities have been built to blend with the trees. What has primarily been completed in the first phase is the eco-friendly general tourism area organised under different zones:
Cultural Zone:
1. Facilitation Centre – information & entry tickets for all zones; built in Kerala’s traditional architectural style
2. Shop Court
3. Restaurant by KTDC – caters to all tourists
4. Musical dancing fountain
5. Amphi-theatre – semi-circular open air theatre Adventure Zone:




Leisure Zone:

1. Pathways 4. Sculpture garden
2. Board walk 5. Resting points
3. Sway bridge 6. Tree & sculpture lighting (dynamic & static)
Other facilities are:
• Boating in the Kallada reservoir inside the Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary. Tourists are taken to the boat landing site in battery powered road vehicles.
• Deer Rehabilitation Centre fosters spotted, sambar and other species of deer. When the population reaches optimum level, they will be released into the woods. Nature park for children with tree top huts, swings, etc.

Contd...






Exhibit 13.1 (Contd...)

A unique package is developed to facilitate trekking activities in association with the Forest Department. The Palaruvi falls site nearby has been improved and is being managed through a participatory process involving local people. Perennial water flow is envisaged at the fall by providing water conservation measures in the upper reaches of the falls.

The eco-tourism component envisages one to three day guided trekking tours and two-day bird watching programmes in the Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary.

The following are proposed in the second phase:
• Setting up of "Deep Woods" – Environmental education centre & sanctuary interpretation centre between Kallada irrigation dam and saddle dam at Pallamvetty. Other facilities planned are Nakshatravanam (nursery of trees associated with birth stars), tree huts, view decks, self guided nature trails.
• Development of 10 satellite spots around Thenmala in Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram districts at Palaruvi, Arippa, Kulathupuzha, Aryankavu, Achankovil, Konni, Pamba, Kochu Pamba, Umayar and Ponmudi.
• Development of an eco-pilgrimage circuit by linking the Sree Dharma Sastha (Ayyappa) temples at Kulathupuzha, Aryankavu and Achankovil, while ensuring that there is no environmental degradation.
• Fountains on both sides of the Kallada river downstream to create better ambience
• Butterfly park, first of its kind in India, to be implemented by the Kerala Forest Research Institute

Private initiative is expected in providing accommodation, transport facility, etc. Accommodation for tourists is proposed to be developed outside the forests, close to nearby townships such as Punalur, Kulathupuzha and Kottarakkara.


Sources: Discussions with Thenmala Eco-tourism Promotion Society and Thenmala Eco-tourism Promotion Society’s literature on the Project


Exhibit 13.2
PROPOSED FOREST BASED ECO-TOURISM PILOT PROJECTS
Ten places in forest and ecologically sensitive areas are proposed to be developed as eco- tourism pilot projects over a period of two years:
1. Agastyarvanam Biological Park, Thiruvananthapuram district
Development of facilities for wilderness trails, trekking ,etc., in degraded forest areas. As a major centre of excellence for nature education and conservation.
2. Konni, Pathanamthitta district
Forest area (60 to 997 m. elevations). Soft eco-tourism near Konni and core eco- tourism in interior forest areas. Soft eco-tourism could include elephant rides, soft treks, visit to nearby water falls, river bathing. Core eco-tourism activities are to be managed by Vana Samrakshana Samithi, a committee of local people.
3. Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Ernakulam district
Undulating terrain (35 m to 523 m), reservoir formed by the Bhoothathankettu barrage and other features make this a potential eco-tourism destination.
4. Mangalavanam, Kochi city
This is a small patch of land near the seashore, which harbours a variety of birds and can be developed into an eco-tourism product.
5. Nelliampathy, Palakkad district
Hill station (about 1000 m ASL), with extensive cardamom plantations
6. Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Palakkad district
Three artificial lakes within the sanctuary facilitate boating, and animals can be viewed closely from boat and minibus.
7. Silent Valley National Park, Palakkad district
Evergreen forest with rich bio-diversity
8. Nilambur, Malappuram district
Teak plantation area. Old DFO Bungalow on a hilltop can be a location for nature camps. Trekking to Nedumkayam, etc. Elephant rides in forest areas.
9. Muthanga (part of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary), Wayanad district
There is an elephant camp and a perennial stream for bathing. This is a suitable base for trekking. Elephant rides can also be arranged.
10. Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kannur district
Can be an ideal spot for imparting nature education for people from Kannur and Kasaragod districts.
Source: Thenmala Eco-tourism Society’s note on the subject


Exhibit 13.3
POTENTIAL ECO-TOURISM DESTINATIONS IN KERALA

Sl.
No. Name of place/project District Remarks/ Status
1. Thenmala eco- tourism project Kollam First phase commissioned. Adjoins Shenduruny wildlife sanctuary

2.
Kumarakom
Kottayam A popular backwater resort and bird sanctuary on Vembanad lake.
Planned development proposed for
the future
3. Wagamon Idukki Major hill station project planned with private participation

4.
Munnar
Idukki Popular hill station, affected by
growth in tourism. Upgradation and improvements proposed

5.
Bhoothathankettu
Ernakulam Irrigation reservoir in forest surroundings. Picnic, boating and
trekking spot
6. Athirappally - Vazhachal falls Thrissur Two scenic water falls in Sholayar forest range – picnic spot
7. Nelliampathy Palakkad Hill station amidst forests and plantations
8. Nilambur Malappuram Teak plantation and extensive forests with bamboo trees

9.
Peruvannamuzhi
Kozhikode Dam reservoir surrounded by natural forests. Has boating, mini zoo and
crocodile park

10.
Thirunelli
Wayanad Maha Vishnu temple on the banks of
Papanashini river amidst sylvan Brahmagiri hills

11.
Kuruva Islands
Wayanad Islands in Kabani river. Main island has two fresh water lakes. Migratory
birds seen here
12. Pythalmala Kannur Hill station (1370 m ASL), rich in flora & fauna. Trekking

13.
Ranipuram
Kasaragod 750 m ASL. Trekking trails and varied vegetation. Natural beauty is
comparable to Ooty

Source: ‘Ecotourism in Kerala’, 1999, Dept of Public Relations, Govt of Kerala



Forest department’s concerns about tourism development in protected areas
Kerala has about 26 % of its land area under forests, though effective coverage is said to be about 19 %. The State has 12 wildlife sanctuaries and two national parks. These protected areas are listed at Exhibit 14.1. A profile of the 14 protected areas is provided at Exhibit 14.2.
These sanctuaries and national parks prima facie offer considerable potential for tourism promotion, with their abundant flora and fauna combined with scenic landscapes and water bodies. If marketed well, they could attract general interest tourists and also those with special interests such as animal/bird watchers, botanists, trekkers, etc., in substantially larger numbers than they do today.
At the time of field-work associated with this assignment, only the management plans for the period 1990 to 2000 were available for most of the sanctuaries/national parks. Quite understandably, the forest department’s management plans have been conservative and cautious about initiatives for tourism promotion.
The forest management policy endeavours to reconcile the demand to conserve the bio- diversity of the forests on the one hand and to meet the demands of society on the other. Kerala’s forest department is in a way glad that with the exception of Thekkady (Periyar Tiger Reserve), the forest areas of the State are not much affected by tourism, and is keen not to be burdened with similar problems elsewhere. Inherently, the forest department would like to have full control over tourism in the protected areas, so that it can be regulated within limits. The prime concern is that once a foothold is given to others, it could eventually lead to uncontrolled intrusion.
The standing example quoted is that of Thekkady, where there is dual control on tourism with both the forest and tourism departments providing tourist facilities and services within the protected area.
Both the forest department and Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) operate tourist boats, resulting in the animals being disturbed umpteen times every day by the roar of the diesel boats. Due to the heavy rush of tourist and visitor traffic and employment considerations, the sanctuary cannot be closed even during the January– March forest fire season or during heavy monsoons.

KTDC is running three luxury hotels within the protected area. Several elephants and other smaller animals have been electrocuted by the electric line supplying power to these hotels. Hotel guests, drivers and employees move in and out of the sanctuary at various times, without regard to the entry and exit timings stipulated by the forest department.
The annual revenue from tourism in Thekkady is about Rs.75 lakhs, but the forest department feels that this is not a good proposition. The forest department is not particular about the earnings from tourism and does not want to lose focus by diverting its attention to this activity beyond the bare minimum.
On the other hand, where only the forest department is taking care of tourist requirements, the facilities provided are meagre. No doubt the forest department’s lodges are quite inexpensive and easily affordable by the average tourist. But there is severe constraint in the quantity and quality of accommodation and allied facilities, thus affecting the level of enjoyment and satisfaction on the part of the tourists.

Approach to sustainable tourism development in forest areas
The basic approach for planning of such natural tourist attractions is application of he environment planning approach, which emphasizes designing visitor facilities and visitor use in a manner that does not degrade the natural environment, but rather facilitates achieving of the conservation objectives.
It is important to realise that when managed properly, the forest areas provide an opportunity to educate visitors about nature conservation, and also create economic opportunities for local people, and win support for protection of natural heritage.
There is need to harmonise the concerns and view points of environmentalists and tourist professionals, as encouraging visitors to experience and enjoy nature first-hand is the best way to educate them about the value and fragility of our forests, by providing them with satisfying and moving experiences.
For this, we clearly need to set up better, safer, more sensitive and much more aesthetic infrastructure than is currently available.
In this context, it would be appropriate to take a look at the National Wildlife Action Plan’s views on tourism, which are summarised at Exhibit 14.3. The overall approach envisaged therein is to plan for tourism in the protected areas in a manner that would help to conserve them, rather than degrade them.
Quite clearly, all new tourist facilities should be created outside the protected area boundaries. This would eliminate the prime cause for conflict.


Further, it is not enough for tourism facilities to merely avoid disturbing habitats next to which they are located. They should also be active participants in the protection of the parks and wildlife therein, as they have a stake in the same. Owners of tourist facilities can contribute to restoring the outskirts of the protected areas by tree planting, constructing watch towers and watering holes, helping with watch-and-ward and intelligence gathering.
These objectives can be achieved effectively if the tourist facilities employ local people who are well versed with the ways of the forest. The staff for tourism interpretation and guiding should also be preferably drawn from among the local people through suitable training, as they would be better sensitised to wildlife management and ecological conservation.
Also, mechanism needs to be established to allocate funds earned from tourism directly back to park protection.
Not all the wildlife sanctuaries/national parks can be exposed to tourism in equal measure. For example, tourism may be severely limited in ecologically fragile areas like the Silent Valley National Park. It is important to establish carrying capacities based on various types of possible use such as day tours, hiking, camping, etc., in reconciliation with the optimum visitor use levels possible for each type of activity.
In places with relatively higher carrying capacities, tourist facilities and services may be created at various price points so that all categories of tourists, including the host community, have the opportunity of experiencing the natural areas. Traffic to ecologically more fragile and sensitive areas can be limited, through higher pricing and other forms of control. The design of tourist facilities should be regulated through environment controls and also blend harmoniously with the local environs.
The Tiger Trail in Periyar Tiger Reserve is projected as a model success story in eco- tourism in forest areas. Here, local people form a Vana Samrakshana Samiti (Forest Protection Organisation) in association with the forest department and organise trekking along designated forest routes. The trekking programmes are bid for by tour operators. The highest bidder among the tour operators gets to market the same internationally for a period of three years. The successful bidder pays an annual fee (currently Rs.21 lakhs), which is shared between the Vana Samrakshana Samiti and the forest department to meet expenses and salaries towards the trekking operations.
A total of 150 trekking trails are organised each year, with five members per programme, so that environmental impact is minimised. A novel feature is that there are former poachers among the guides. It is said that poaching and other illegal activities have reduced in the area due to the presence of trekkers.
Nonetheless, tourism in forest areas is prone to be ecologically sensitive, and one has to tread with caution, with continuous monitoring of the costs and benefits.




Exhibit 14.1
LIST OF SANCTUARIES & NATIONAL PARKS IN KERALA

Sl.
No. Name of WLS/NP District Area
(in sq.km.) Year of formation
1. Neyyar WLS Thiruvananthapuram 128.00 1958
2. Peppara WLS Thiruvananthapuram 53.00 1983
3. Shenduruny WLS Kollam 100.32 1984
4. Periyar WLS (Tiger Reserve) Idukki & Pathanamthitta 777.54 1950
5. Eravikulam NP Idukki 97.00 1978
6. Chinnar WLS Idukki 90.42 1984
7. Idukki WLS Idukki 70.00 1976
8. Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary Ernakulam 25.16 1983
9. Peechi-Vazhani WLS Thrissur 125.00 1958
10. Chimmini WLS Thrissur 85.00 1984
11. Parambikulam WLS Palakkad 285.00 1973
12. Silent Valley NP Palakkad 89.52 1980
13. Wayanad (or Muthanga) WLS Wayanad 344.44 1973
14. Aralam WLS Kannur 55.00 1981
TOTAL 2325.40
Note: WLS – Wildlife Sanctuary; NP = National Park

Main Source: Forest Department, Government of Kerala


Exhibit 14.2
PROFILE OF SANCTUARIES & NATIONAL PARKS IN KERALA

Given below is a brief profile of the fourteen wildlife sanctuaries/national parks in Kerala, from a tourism point of view.

1. Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Thiruvananthapuram district, Neyyattinkara & Nedumangad taluks
Access: 30 km from Thiruvananthapuram city. Motorable road.
Area: Total – 128 sq.km. Core – 60 sq.km.
Topography: 90 to 1868 m ASL. Highest peak – Agasthiarkoodam (1868 m). Rugged terrain with rushing brooks, flat meadows and gentle to steep slopes.
Rainfall: 2800 mm (predominantly southwest monsoons)
Vegetation: Mainly moist deciduous forest, some tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forest, extensive grasslands, eucalyptus plantations in degraded areas. Rare medicinal plant species in Agastiar hills.
Wildlife: Elephant, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, wild boar, wild dog, sloth bear, porcupine, jungle cat, leopard, tiger, Nilgiri langur, reptiles, birds.
Water body: Neyyar irrigation dam reservoir (14.32 sq.km.)
Tourism: 1. Crocodile farm, lion safari park (20 ha), deer park (2 ha), boat rides on reservoir. Trekking to Agasthiarkoodam with permission.
2. KTDC’s conducted tours from Thiruvananthapuram.
Accommodation: 1. Youth hostel and rest house at Neyyar
2. Rest house at Meenmutty
3. Agasthya House (KTDC)
4. Inspection bungalow/dormitory of forest/irrigation department.
Contd...




2. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Thiruvananthapuram district, Nedumangad taluk
Access: 50 km by road from Thiruvananthapuram
Area: Total – 53 sq.km.
Topography: 90 to 177 m ASL. Hilly terrain with rivulets.
Rainfall: 3000 mm (both southwest & northeast monsoons)
Vegetation: Evergreen, semi evergreen & deciduous forests.
Wildlife: Elephant, gaur, sambar, wild boar, tiger, Nilgiri langur, Malabar squirrel, water birds, snakes, moths, butterflies.
Water body: Reservoir (5.82 sq.km.) of Peppara dam across Karamana river, commissioned in 1983 to augment water supply to Thiruvananthapuram.
Tourism: Information centre & office at Peppara.
Accommodation: Kerala Water Authority’s dormitory & project house.
Other: There are 13 tribal settlements in the sanctuary.

3. Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Kollam district, Pathanapuram taluk
Access: 66 Km by road from Kollam. 70 Km from Thiruvananthapuram. Thenmala railway station nearby.
Area: Total – 100.32 sq.km.
Topography: 90 to 1550 m. Rugged terrain, gentle to steep slopes.
Rainfall: 3200 mm.
Vegetation: Tropical evergreen, semi evergreen & deciduous forests. Forest plantations.
Wildlife: Bonnet macaque, gaur, sambar, palm squirrel, mouse deer, elephant, tiger, leopard, snakes.
Water body: Reservoir (13.72 sq.km.) of Parappar irrigation dam built across Shenduruny and Kulathupuzha rivers.
Contd...





Tourism: 1. Water spread area of Parappar reservoir is tourism zone. Boating facility in reservoir.
2. Forest trekking trails along the right & left banks of the reservoir.
3. Adjoins the recently commissioned Thenmala Eco-tourism project, thus increasing its potential to attract tourists.
Accommodation: 1. PWD rest house at Thenmala.
2. Tourist lodge/dormitory planned at Kalamkunnu
Other: 1. The name Shenduruny comes from a local tree species called Chenkuruny.
2. There is a large mesolithic cave (5210 – 4420 B.C.). Can hold 20 people & has paintings similar to those in mesolithic caves of central India.

4. Periyar Tiger Reserve

Location: Idukki district
Access: Entry point is Thekkady. 190 km by road from Kochi and 272 km from Thiruvananthapuram.
Area: Total – 777.54 sq.km. (Core: 350 sq.km., Buffer: 427 sq.km.)
Topography: 100 to 2016 m ASL.
Rainfall: 2500 mm
Vegetation: Dense evergreen, semi evergreen and deciduous forests, open grasslands, flowering plants and orchids.
Wildlife: Elephant, leopard, tiger, Indian porcupine, wild sloth bear, common palm civet, mouse deer, wild dog, sambar, gaur, barking deer, Nilgiri langur, king cobra, aquatic birds.
Water body: Periyar lake (26 sq.km.) formed by the construction of dam across Mullaperiyar river in 1895. Boat cruise on the lake is the easiest way to watch wildlife in the reserve. Lake has numerous islets.
Contd...





Tourism: One of the finest and most popular wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala. Attracts over 300,000 tourists & visitors per annum, including 10,000 foreign tourists. Tourism zone is 50 sq.km. and overlaps with buffer zone.
Only sanctuary in India where wild elephants and other animals can be observed and photographed at close quarters from the safety of a boat.
Tourist facilities:
• Boating on Periyar lake by forest department, KTDC and Peerumedu wildlife preservation society
• Elephant and horse rides at boat landing
• Forest department’s snack bar at boat landing
• Jeeps available for safaris
• Trekking to Mangaladevi hills, Mullakkudy, Thannikudy, Vellimala, etc., are arranged by the forest department. Mangaladevi – Kannagi Temple falls on the northern boundary of the Reserve.
• Periyar Tiger Trail – Unique, nature-friendly project with the aim of converting former poachers into tourist trekking guides and defenders of the forest.
• Nature Camps are conducted for students and members of various Nature Clubs.
Accommodation: 1. Three KTDC’s hotels – Lake Palace, Aranya Nivas and Periyar House are within the sanctuary.
2. Forest department’s rest houses at Idappalayam, Manakavala, Mullakkudy and Thannikkudy. All have watch towers. Six dormitories are available for participants of nature awareness camps.
3. Caravan park where tourists can stay in their vehicles.
4. PWD inspection bungalow.
5. Private lodges at Kumily (nearest town, 4 km from Thekkady).
Other: Sabarimala is on the southern fringe. Development works for Sabarimala pilgrims has direct effect on wildlife and vegetation. The peak pilgrim season coincides with the forest fire season.


Exhibit 14.2 (Contd...)

5. Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Idukki district, Thodupuzha & Udumpanchola taluks.
Access: 40 km by road from Thodupuzha.
Area: 70 sq.km.
Topography: 450 to 748 m ASL. Highest peak – Kizhakkilachimala (748 m).
Rainfall: 2200 mm.
Vegetation: Evergreen, semi evergreen and deciduous forest; grass lands.
Wildlife: Elephant, deer, bear, leopard, tiger, wild pig, hornbill, kingfisher, wood pecker, cobra, viper, python, rat snake.
Water body: Idukki Arch Dam (hydro-electric project), Cheruthoni Dam and Kulamavu Dam have formed a 33 sq.km. reservoir.
Tourism: Tourism zone is restricted to the water spread area of 33 sq.km.
Boating facility in reservoir –provides scenic view of hills, grasslands and sholas. Animals can be sighted particularly during early morning and evening, when they come to the reservoir for water. Boating is restricted to two routes – towards Kulamavu and Seethakayam.
Accommodation: 1. Forest rest house at Vellappara, which is the headquarters of the sanctuary.
2. PWD’s rest house.
3. KSEB’s inspection bungalow at Vazhathoppu.
4. Private hotels at Cheruthoni, Kattappana and Thodupuzha.
Contd...



Exhibit 14.2 (Contd...)

6. Eravikulam National Park

Location: Idukki district, Devikulam taluk.
Access: 15 km north of Munnar, a popular hill station. 135 km by road from Kochi.
Area: 97 sq.km.
Topography: 1400 to 2694 m ASL. Anamudi (2694 m), the highest peak south of the Himalayas is on the southern side of the Park.
Rainfall: 4500 mm. One of the wettest regions of the world. Park is closed to visitors during the monsoon.
Vegetation: Rolling grasslands and high level shola forests.
Wildlife: 1. Eravikulam National Park was established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr and these are found in significant numbers here.
2. Atlas moth – one of the largest moths is seen here.
3. Tiger, panther, wild dog, civet cat, jungle cat, Nilgiri langur, wild boar.
Water body: No significant water body, except for Eravikulam lake.
Tourism: Tourism zone is in the southern end near Rajamala. This zone assures sighting of the Nilgiri tahr at close quarters. Anamudi peak is a popular trekking destination. This is a small park with a fragile ecosystem and exposure to tourism would have to be limited.
Accommodation: Private lodges in Munnar and Devikulam.

Contd...


Exhibit 14.2 (Contd...)

7. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Idukki district, Devikulam taluk
Access: 60 km from Udumalpet in Tamil Nadu
Area: 90.422 sq.km.
Topography: 500 to 2100 m ASL. Rugged undulating terrain. Highest peaks – Kottakombumalai (2144 m), Vellaikalmalai (1863 m), Viriyoottumalai (1845 m).
Rainfall: 1000 mm. Has only 48 rainy days in a year (northeast monsoons). Lies in a rain shadow area.
Vegetation: Thorny scrub forest with xerophytic species. Dry deciduous forest, high sholas & wetlands.
Wildlife: Second habitat of the endangered giant grizzled squirrel. Elephant, gaur, spotted deer, panther, sambar, Hanuman langur, rabbit, peacock, etc.
Water body: No major water body.
Tourism: Marayoor-Udumalpet road cuts through the entire width of the sanctuary from Karimutti to Chinnar. This offers the opportunity of watching wildlife at close quarters from the road, without venturing into the jungle.
Churulipatty-Chinnar-Kottar stretch and 50 m on either side of Marayoor-Udumalpet road form the tourism zone. Marayoor sandalwood forest and Thoovanam waterfalls are located in the sanctuary. There are trekking trails in the forest area. At present there is no facility for tourists.
Accommodation: 1. None at present for tourists within the sanctuary.
2. Government guest house at Marayoor - headquarters of the sanctuary.
3. Private hotels/lodges at Munnar, Marayoor and Udumalpet (Tamil Nadu).
Contd...



Exhibit 14.2 (Contd...)

8. Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary

Location: Ernakulam district.
Access: 13 km north east of Kothamangalam. Kothamangalam- Pooyamkutty road bifurcates the sanctuary.
Area: 25.16 sq.km.
Topography: 35 to 523 m ASL. Highest point is Njayapilli peak (523 m).
Rainfall: 2500 mm.
Vegetation: Tropical evergreen, semi evergreen and deciduous forests; patches of grasslands.

Wildlife: Over 250 bird species – Rare birds like Crimson- throated barbet, bee-eater, sun bird, etc. Also Indian roller, cuckoo, common snipe, crow pheasant and others. Leopard, bear, porcupine, etc., are also sighted.
Water body: No major water body. Periyar and Idamalayar rivers abut the sanctuary.
Tourism: Tourists zone is on either side of Thattekkad-Ovunkal and Thattekkad-Kuttampuzha roads as also the view point from Kottikal to Ovunkal through Periyar river by boat. Visitors have to access the tourism zone through Thattekkad ferry.
Accommodation: PWD rest house near Bhoothathankettu dam. Private lodges at Kothamangalam.
Other: Developed by the untiring efforts of Dr. Salim Ali, the
renowned ornithologist, who is reported to have identified 167 bird species here.

Contd...

Exhibit 14.2 (Contd...)

9. Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Thrissur district, Mukundapuram taluk.
Access: Echippara, sanctuary’s HQ, 24km by road from Thrissur
Area: 85 sq.km.
Topography: 40 to 1116 m. Highest point – Punda peak (1116 m).
Rainfall: 2980 mm.
Vegetation: Deciduous, semi evergreen and evergreen forests.
Wildlife: Leopard, elephant, bear, wild pig, wild bison, tiger, etc.
Water body: Reservoir (10 sq.km.) of Chimmini river dam.
Tourism: 1. Tourism is negligible as the sanctuary is not well known and there are no amenities for tourists.
2. Reservoir area & surroundings can be developed with entrance to the sanctuary from Echippara.
Accommodation: 1. Inspection bungalow near the dam
2. Private lodges at Amballoor (12 km).

10. Peechi – Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Thrissur district.
Access: Peechi, sanctuary’s HQ is 20 km east of Thrissur. NH 47 cuts through the sanctuary. 98 km from Kochi.
Area: 125 sq.km.
Topography: 45 to 923 m. Highest peak - Ponmudi (923 m).
Rainfall: 3000 mm.
Vegetation: Wet deciduous forest; orchids & rare medicinal plants.
Wildlife: Leopard, tiger, fox, wild dog, elk, barking deer, birds
Water body: Peechi and Vazhani dam reservoirs.
Tourism: Tourism zone (3500 ha) around Peechi reservoir (boating facility). Visitors are mainly from Thrissur. Kerala Forest Research Institute is at Peechi.
Accommodation: Rest house at Peechi.



Exhibit 14.2 (Contd...)

11. Silent Valley National Park

Location: Palakkad district.
Access: 40 km from Mannarkad. Vehicular traffic is allowed only up to Mukkali, nearly 24 km from the Park. Rest of the way has to be covered on foot or by forest department’s vehicle up to the source of the river Kuntipuzha.
Area: 89.52 sq.km.
Rainfall: Heavy summer rains.
Vegetation: Dense tropical evergreen forest with about 1000 plant species, many of them rare and endangered.
Wildlife: Fair representation of wildlife species. Also rare species like lion tailed macaque, Peshwa’s bat, hairy winged bat, limb less amphibians, unusual butterflies, moths, etc.
Perhaps the closest to a virgin forest in the entire Western Ghats. Home to India’s largest stretch of tropical evergreen rain forests, and a large number of wild animals, thanks to its difficult terrain and remoteness.

Tourism: 1. Number of visitors is less than 1000 per year.
2. Private vehicles are restricted to Mukkali-Chindakki area.
3. Very limited and rudimentary facilities for visitors. The objective is to keep disturbance to the minimum by ensuring that only serious wildlife & eco-tourism enthusiasts visit the place.
Accommodation: Forest department’s rest house (Visitors are not usually allowed overnight stay).
Other: Named as Silent Valley by the British who ventured into these forests a century ago, as there was evidently no sound of cicadas here. More likely is that the name is derived from the local name - Sairandhri Vanam,
wherein Sairandhri has become Silent in English.
Contd...



Exhibit 14.2 (Contd...)

12. Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Palakkad district.
Access: 60 km from Pollachi (Tamil Nadu) by road.
Area: 285 sq.km.
Topography: 600 to 1444 m ASL. Highest point – Karimala Gopuram (1444 m).
Rainfall: 1700 mm (mainly southwest monsoon).
Vegetation: Wet and dry evergreen, tropical evergreen and semi evergreen forests. 9000 ha. Of teak plantations.
Wildlife: Bonnet macaque, lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, loris, tiger, leopard, jungle cat, crocodile, varanus, birds.

Water body: Three dam reservoirs – Parambikulam reservoir (21.2 sq.km.), Thoonacadavu reservoir (4.33 sq.km.), Parivarippallam (2.89 sq.km.).
Tourism: 1. Boating on Parambikulam reservoir.
2. Sanctuary tour with guides.
3. 5 km from Thoonacadavu - the sanctuary’s headquarters – is ‘kannimaram’ – a giant teak tree of
40 m height and 6.4 m girth, said to be Asia’s largest.
Accommodation: 1. Forest rest house at Thoonacadavu
2. Tree house in reserve forest area in Thoonacadavu
3. Accommodation at Parambikulam project
4. Hotels in Pollachi (Tamil Nadu)

Contd...

Exhibit 14.2 (Contd...)

13. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Wayanad district.
Access: Good road links. Sultan Bathery, Muthanga & Tholpetty (70 km away) are important centres of the sanctuary.
Area: 344.44 sq.km.
Topography: 650 to 1158 m ASL. Gently undulating, with occasional hillocks. Highest peak – Karottimala (1158 m).
Rainfall: 2000 mm.
Vegetation: Moist deciduous forest with semi evergreen patches; grasslands and bamboo.
Wildlife: Elephant, tiger, panther, jungle cat, wild dog, bison, deer, monitor lizard, snakes, birds.
Tourism: Normally only day visits are taking place.
Accommodation: Private lodges at Sultan Bathery.
Other: Pazhassi Raja fought the British in a guerilla warfare from these forests.
Tribals and others live on the fringes of the forest.

14. Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Kannur district.
Access: 45 km from Kannur and Thalassery.
Area: 55 sq.km.
Topography: 50 to 1145 m. Highest point – Katti Betta peak (1145 m).
Rainfall: 3000 mm.
Vegetation: Tropical evergreen and semi evergreen forests. Teak and eucalyptus forest plantations.
Wildlife: Deer, boar, elephant, sloth bear, sambar, bison, leopard, jungle cat, squirrels.
Water body: No major water body.
Accommodation: Private lodges at Irutty, near the sanctuary.



Exhibit 14.3
NATIONAL WILDLIFE ACTION PLAN ON TOURISM


The National Wildlife Action Plan makes the following point s on the issue of tourism:

• Tourism demands must be subservient to and in consonance with the conservation interests of Protected Areas (PA) and wildlife.
• Develop national guidelines on tourism within PAs. Ways of benefiting local people directly by tourism should be specified in the guidelines.
• Eco-tourism must primarily involve and benefit local communities.
• Develop tourism management plans for each PA. Also, conduct surveys of existing accommodation and tourist facilities within PAs.
• The Wildlife Institute of India should develop impact assessment techniques and standards that can be used by PA managers to evaluate the negative impacts of tourism on soil, water resources, vegetation, animal life, sanitation or waste disposal and cultural environments.
• Develop stringent standards of waste disposal, energy and water consumption and construction plans and materials used therein.
• A ceiling on the number of tourists and tourist vehicles permitted to enter the PA should be specified. The PA managers must be empowered to use their discretion in closing off certain areas of the PA, for example, an area where a tiger has littered.
• Set up State and Union Territory eco-tourism advisory boards that will regulate tourism activities. Representatives of local people living near PAs, local NGOs and PA managers to be a part of these boards to develop and regulate tourism activities.



While beaches, hill stations, forests and other forms of tourist attractions are found aplenty in different parts of India, the extensive backwaters are a distinct feature of Kerala, providing a unique opportunity for positioning as an exotic tourism product.
Backwaters – nature’s gift to God’s own Country
Kerala is gifted with an expansive body of meandering brackish waters, commonly referred to as backwaters. The total area of the backwaters is over 200,000 hectares (Exhibit 15.1). The backwaters include large lakes formed by ocean inlets (lagoons and estuaries) and interconnecting river deltas and canals, which stretch irregularly along the lengthy coast of the state (Exhibit 15.2). They form an attractive and economically valuable feature of Kerala, providing excellent water transportation in the coastal plains.
The largest among the ocean inlets is the Vembanad Lake, with an area of 200 sq. km., which opens out into the Arabian Sea at Kochi. Some of the other important backwaters are Ashtamudi and Kayamkulam lakes. A list of estuaries and lagoons in Kerala is given below.
Estuaries:

1. Uppala 2. Kumbala 3. Mogral 4. Chandragiri
5. Kalanad 6. Bekal 7. Chittari 8. Karingote
9. Ezhimala/Ramapuram 10. Valapattanam 11. Dharmadom 12. Thalassery
13. Mahe (Pondicherry) 14. Kottukkal 15. Elathur 16. Kallai
17. Beypore 18. Kadalundi 19. Chettuva 20. Ponnani
21. Vembanad 22. Kayamkulam 23. Ashtamudi 24. Paravur
25. Edava-Nadayara 26. Kadinamkulam 27. Anjengo 28. Veli
Lagoons:

1. Kavvayi 2. Agalapuzha 3. Enamakkal- Mannakkodi 4. Muriad
5. Kodungalloor- Vadapuzha 6. Sasthamkotta 7. Vellayani
Backwater tourism –status and developments
Backwaters provide scenic, unspoiled beauty accompanied by the charming, slow pace of life along their banks. This makes them attractive for tourism development. The most common tourism related activities are:


• Backwater resorts with luxury rooms/cottages on the waterfront, integrated with ayurvedic rejuvenation centres, cultural programmes, water sports facilities, etc.
• Houseboat cruising on the backwaters using the reworked kettuvallams
(cargo barges) of olden times.

Kerala’s Tourism Department has several projects under implementation for the development of tourism infrastructure in the backwater region. Backwater tourism is also one of the thrust areas identified in the Tourism Vision 2025.
A comprehensive tourism signage scheme has been implemented in the backwaters between Kollam and Kochi and a digital tourist map has also been got prepared. Places in north Kerala that are suitable for backwater based tourism activities have been identified by NATPAC through an extensive survey. Development plans have been proposed for boating and tourism activities.
Local fishermen object to bigger tourist vessels operating in the smaller canals. Narrow and shallow canal stretches would therefore require dredging, if they are to take on additional traffic. Apart from house boats, suitable areas would have to be identified for extending the operations of regular motor boats, high speed boats and large tourist ferries that may carry 50 to 200 passengers.
A significant component of backwater tourism is development of suitable islands in the backwaters to provide resort accommodation, recreation and other facilities. There are reportedly about 30 small islands in different parts of Kerala, some of them such as Dharmadom under private ownership. CRZ norms will apply to the development of such islands.
Gundu island in the Kochi backwaters has been recently handed over by the Government to the Taj Group. A modern tourist facility on the lines of the Singapore Sentosa Centre is proposed to be established here. Pathiramanal, a 70-acre island near Kottayam, has been given to the Oberoi Group for the development of an international convention centre.
Backwaters are a relatively unique and attractive feature of Kerala. The potential for tourism in this sector is immense and what has been exploited is relatively small in comparison. The geographical spread of the backwaters also makes it convenient and conducive to spread the tourism activity across the state, thus dispersing accompanying economic benefits and mitigating the negative impacts.


At present, most back water resorts and house boats are at the high end of the spectrum and consequently out of reach of the average tourist, both domestic and foreign. Just as hotel accommodation and other facilities are available at various price points, the same should eventually happen with back water tourism facilities as well. But the numbers would have to be regulated keeping in view the local carrying capacity in different places of tourist concentration.
Need for sustainable development of backwater areas
The backwaters have reportedly depleted to about one-third their original size over the last century. They have suffered shrinkage due to bunding and reclamation for agriculture, urban development & habitation, harbours, aquaculture, resorts, etc. Large-scale reclamation of water bodies, pollution from excess fertilizers and pesticides and mining for lime shells contribute to the ecological changes to a great extent. As a result, this important coastal life support system is facing threat and the marine resources are depleting.
Even though the Coastal Regulation Zone notification is intended to protect the shrinking backwaters and coastal areas of the State, the implementation of the same has not so far been entirely effective. A Coastal Zone Management Plan for Kerala State (COZMAP) has been prepared to address this issue.
The Kerala Government has constituted the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority to deal with issues related to coastal zone management, monitoring and enforcement of the provisions of CRZ notifications. But environmentalists fear that the Authority could in many cases recommend relaxation of CRZ regulations for development projects.
Some local NGOs and stakeholders have in the past reportedly expressed that improper developmental activities (including beach/backwater resorts) are gradually destroying the backwaters, and also negatively affecting their ecology, natural resources and traditional employment potential; and that the developments have also prevented local people from accessing the beaches.
On the other hand, extension of the CRZ notifications to cover backwater areas (Exhibits 15.3 & 15.4) magnifies the area covered under CRZ ten-fold in a coastal area that is already very densely populated. This imposes a serious constraint on all kinds of developmental activities.
There is therefore a strong need for analysing the situation considering all views, so as to ensure sustainable and eco-friendly development of the backwaters.
Integrated development project for the backwater region
In this context, the Kerala Government is already in the process of getting an integrated master plan prepared for sustainable development of the backwaters and is also envisaging the constitution of a Backwater Tourism Development Authority. These steps should augur well for the orderly development of all economic activities associated with and along the backwaters.


A part of the West Coast Canal has been declared as National Waterway No. 3. This has triggered several actions by the Inland Waterways Authority of India:
• Some narrow stretches of the Kollam – Kottappuram section of this waterway are proposed to be widened by land acquisition.
• The section between Kollam and Kochi is being dredged.
• NATPAC has conducted a techno-economic feasibility study for extension of National Waterway No. 3 up to Kovalam in the south and Kasaragod in the north, with prioritisation of stretches for implementation, based on traffic density and feasibility. (At present, there is a 367-km long navigable canal extending from Thiruvananthapuram to Tirur.)
• Plans are also afoot for developing the West Coast Canal between Mahe and Valapattanam so as to make it navigable. Funds would have to be mobilised from external agencies to develop this stretch.
• There is also a proposal to extend the T.S. Canal up to Kolachal in Tamil Nadu and to provide a canal link between Kovalam and Poovar.
Priorities for development, rehabilitation or deepening/widening of canals would be dictated more by the needs of inland water transport and irrigation, rather than tourism. Planning for tourism can be integrated with the general planning for the backwaters so as to take advantage from the improvements to the waterways. This could in turn trigger planning of wayside facilities, backwater resorts, etc., along suitable stretches of the backwaters.
The total cost of all the projects proposed for long term development of the backwaters is reportedly likely to cost around Rs.3000 crores. These would have to be taken up in portions, based on priority, technical and financial feasibility and availability of funds. Funding from various sources including multilateral funding agencies is envisaged.
A related development is the proposed “Theerappadam” project (coastal path development). This envisages improvement of the T.S. Canal (also called Parvathi Puthanar Canal) at a total cost of Rs.950 crores. The first phase would cover a 16-km stretch from Kovalam to Akkulam, and would involve construction of walkway, development of commercial space and tourist facilities.
Cruise Ship Tourism
International cruise ships have made stopovers at Kochi in the recent past. One disadvantage is that passengers on the cruise ship would in most cases make only day time visits, and would not even get counted as tourists. Nonetheless, such arrangements can be strengthened to provide greater visibility to Kerala as a destination on the world’s tourist map.
Many of the principal tourist attractions in Kerala are close to the coast. Therefore, feasibility of organising coastal cruise ship tours can also be explored, depending on suitability of port facilities en-route and market potential. This project would have to be implemented with private sector/foreign investment. The travel circuit may have to include tourist destinations in neighbouring states/countries as well.



Exhibit 15.1
INLAND WATER SPREAD AREA IN KERALA

Type of inland water Area (hectares)
Rivers 85,000
Tanks and ponds 3,300
Reservoirs 29,635
Brackish water, lakes, backwater & estuaries 242,600
Total 360,535
Source: Statistics for Planning 2001, Government of Kerala (Fisheries Department)


Exhibit 15.2
DISTRICT-WISE DISTRIBUTION OF COASTLINE IN KERALA


District Coastline Length
in kms
% to total
1 2 3
1. Thiruvananthapuram 78 13.2
2. Kollam 37 6.3
3. Alappuzha 82 13.9
4. Ernakulam 46 7.8
5. Thrissur 54 9.2
6. Malappuram 70 11.8
7. Kozhikode 71 12.0
8. Kannur 82 14.0
9. Kasaragod 70 11.8
Kerala 590 100.0
Source: Statistics for Planning 2001, Government of Kerala (Fisheries Department)



Exhibit 15.3
LIST OF PLACES IN KERALA CATEGORISED UNDER CRZ-I AND CRZ-II


CRZ-I Places of outstanding natural beauty/ecological importance and historical/heritage areas
(Only places of tourist interest under CRZ-I are listed below)
1. Poovar South 2. Kovalam
3. Shanghumukham 4. Veli
5. Anjengo Fort 6. Papanasam – Varkala
7. Thangassery 8 Thirumullavaram
9. Ambalappuzha 10 Arthunkal
11. Coast of Vaikkom 12. Portions of Fort Kochi, Mattancherry
13. Chennamangalam 14. Thalassery Fort
15. Dharmadam - Edakkad 16. Valapattanam – Naratt
17. Bekal


CRZ-II Developed areas close to the coastline – mainly, designated urban areas (Corporation/municipal limits of the urban centres listed below)
1. Thiruvananthapuram 2. Varkala
3. Paravur 4. Kollam
5. Kayamkulam 6. Alappuzha
7. Cherthala 8 Vaikkom
9. Thrippunithura 10 Kochi
11. Parur 12. Kodungalloor
13. Chavakkad 14. Ponnani
15. Tirur 16. Kozhikode
17. Vadakara (Badagara) 18. Thalassery
19. Kannur 20. Payyanur
21. Kanhangad 22. Kasaragod

Note: Major portions of Kerala’s coastal areas fall under CRZ-III category.




Exhibit 15.4
IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF CRZ REGULATIONS THAT WOULD INFLUENCE TOURISM-RELATED DEVELOPMENTS IN KERALA


1.
Development along rivers, creeks and backwaters is regulated up to the distance where tidal effect of the sea is experienced.
2. In case of rivers, creeks and backwaters, regulation applies to both sides, and the set back distance shall not be less than 100 metres from the high tide line (HTL) or the width of the river, creek or backwaters, whichever is less.
3. The above set back distance may be reduced to 50 metres or the width of the river, creek or backwater, whichever is less, only for constructing dwelling units for local inhabitants in non-CRZ-I areas, under specified conditions, such as population density being not less than 400 persons per sq.km.
4. Golf courses, hotels, etc., can be permitted in CRZ-III of notified SEZ. Development of hotels/beach resorts may be permitted between 200 and 500 metres of HTL in designated areas of CRZ-III.
5. All uninhabited islands are classified under CRZ-I category, subject to continuation of existing rights and uses.
6. Coastal roads/railways are not permitted within CRZ-I areas.
7. Reclamation of kayals is not permitted within CRZ-I areas.
8. Parks, play grounds, green zones and other non-buildable areas falling within CRZ-II areas are categorised as CRZ-III.
9. ORZ (Ocean Regulation Zone) regulations restrict reclamation of sea for human settlement, construction of artificial islands, etc. Discharge of wastes into coastal and marine waters is also regulated.


Exhibit 15.5
KERALA GOVERNMENT’S SCHEME FOR APPROVAL/ CLASSIFICATION OF HOUSE BOATS
OPERATED IN THE BACKWATERS – A SUMMARY
With the increasing popularity of houseboat cruising, the number of houseboats has increased to more than 100. There have been some complaints regarding the upkeep and maintenance of some of the houseboats.
In this context, the following scheme provides for grading of existing house boats which maintain the prescribed quality standards into Gold and Silver Star categories, and also to give Green Palm certificate as a symbol of eco- friendliness to those house boats which adopt environment friendly practices in their operations.
Only house boats which are approved by the Tourism Department under this scheme will be eligible for the 10% State investment subsidy.
GOLD & SILVER STAR CATEGORISATION
1. Essential conditions:
i) General construction of the house boat should be good. Hull & valavara
should be of good condition. Flooring should be of marine plywood.
ii) Sizes of various rooms shall not be less than the following: Bed room - 80 sq.ft. & minimum 7 ft. width; living/dining - 80 sq.ft.; kitchen - 20 sq.ft.; attached toilet - 20 sq.ft., with minimum 3 ft. width; common toilet - 10 sq.ft.; passages - 3 ft wide.
iii) All bed rooms shall be provided with attached toilet. There shall be a common toilet for the use of staff. The toilets meant for guests shall be western type and shall be cleanly maintained.
iv) Kitchen must be protected from hazard (a) by fire proofing, using fireproof materials, and (b) by providing at least two fire extinguishers.
v) Storage hold in the kitchen should be hygienic. Food materials on board must be packed and stored in clean environment.
vi) Fuel storage shall not be near the kitchen.
vii) All house boats shall have at least two life buoys and two fire buckets.
viii) Furniture used in the house boats shall be of good standard.
ix) Clean and good quality linen, blankets, towels, etc., shall be used. Crockery and glassware should be of high quality.
x) All house boats must keep updated log books and tourist records.
xi) The staff interacting with the guests in supplying food, etc., shall wear uniform.
xii) Boat shall have valid license from the appropriate authority for plying in the backwaters.
Contd...


Exhibit 15.5 (Contd...)

xiii) Name & approval number shall be painted in bold letters on both sides of the boat.
2. Optional Conditions:
i) Construction of the houseboat has distinctive qualities of luxury.
ii) Boat is well furnished with superior carpets, curtains, furniture, fittings, etc.
iii) There are alternative arrangements for not discharging the solid wastes and sewage to the backwater, by providing septic tank or chemical toilets.
iv) The boat is battery operated.
v) There is provision for electricity on board to provide lights and fans for 24 hours.
vi) There is provision for running hot water and cold water - 24 hours.
vii) There is arrangement for purifying water on board.
viii) A refrigerator or ice box on board is provided.
ix) There is arrangement for providing food as per the "Menu of Guest's Choice" on board.
x) The staff interacting with guests are fluent in English and experienced.
3. Houseboats that fulfill all the "essential conditions" and more than 5 of the 10 "optional conditions" mentioned above would be awarded “God Star Classification”. Other boats satisfying the essential conditions will be awarded “Silver Star Classification”.
4. All houseboats approved by Department of Tourism shall fly a flag on the houseboat top with Gold or Silver Star as the case may be, as a symbol of recognition. The flag will be the flag approved by Department of Tourism.

GREEN PALM CERTIFICATE
Those houseboats, which adopt environmental friendly practices in their operation, will be given “Green Palm Certificate” as a symbol of eco- friendliness. Specific actions to be undertaken for obtaining this certificate are:
i) Alternative arrangement for not discharging solid wastes and sewage into the backwater may be made, by providing septic tank or bio- chemical toilets.
ii) Alternative sources of energy for fuel, such as solar power for lighting, heating, etc., may be used wherever possible.
iii) A system of separating recyclable and non-recyclable garbage emanating from the operation and disposing of non-biodegradable garbage in a responsible way so as not to harm the local environment.
Contd...




Exhibit 15.5 (Contd...)


iv) Convert wherever possible from the use of polythene bags to paper bags, cloth bags and other alternatives.
v) Introduce the use of recycled paper for stationery and other publicity materials.
vi) As far as possible use locally available materials for the construction of boats and furniture.
vii) At least 75% of the workers employed will be from the districts of operation.
viii) If out board engines are used for the houseboats, obtain certificate from competent authority every three months on its adherence to pollution norms.


Source: Relevant Government Order dated April 3, 2000




Selection of potential beach tourism destinations
Beaches and associated marine areas could offer a variety of options, as may be feasible, such as:

a) sunbathing e) water skiing
b) swimming f) para sailing
c) boating g) snorkeling & scuba diving
d) wind & board surfing h) sport fishing
Such options would enable the beach destinations to attract both general interest tourists who seek relaxation and recreation, as well as special interest tourists who engage in water sport activities.
A comparative graded evaluation of the potential beach areas in Kerala could be carried out on the following characteristics, and efforts could be focused on those that are appropriate for development:
• Length and width of the sand area, and extent of tidal action.
• Availability and scope for further development of accommodation/resort, recreation and other facilities in the vicinity.
• Water characteristics of depth, type of bottom material, pollution level, water currents & any danger to swimmers, wave conditions & suitability for body and board surfing.
• Direction and extent of wind, suitability for sailing and wind surfing.
• Angle of slope of the beach, topography/rock formations and vegetation near the beach; special visual assets, if any.
• Suitable locations for development of piers, if necessary.
• History of erosion or deposition of the beach.
• Under water characteristics – topography, quality of coral or other sea life, or potential hazards to divers, snorkellers, if any.
• Accessibility - proximity to an urban node, access road, parking space, etc.
• Carrying capacity and present traffic level.
• Possibility of developing special attractions such as marine park/oceanarium in future.
However, a systematic exercise has already been carried out at the all-India level about a decade ago by a renowned international consultant and Bekal in Kasaragod district in north Kerala was identified as one of the most suitable locations for beach-related tourism development. The present status of this project is covered later in this chapter.


Need for and scope of development regulations
The world over, beaches have tended to become mass tourism destinations, causing severe environmental degradation of coastal areas and loss of local cultural identity.
To avoid this pitfall, it would be necessary to put in place an institutional mechanism whereby higher spending tourists are attracted, without excessive increase in accommodation and tourist arrivals, as the latter event would seriously jeopardise ecological and cultural qualities of the land.
In Kovalam, for example, much of the hotel accommodation is in the unclassified category. Consequently, low budget tourists and backpackers constitute a significant percentage of tourists, including foreigners.
Therefore, beach and marine areas of the State could have conservation measures applied in the form of designated tourism and non-tourism zones with appropriate development controls.
The following steps would therefore have to be initiated for sustainable tourism development along beaches and coastal areas:
• Zoning regulations and other legal requirements such as quality standards and development density.
• Involvement of the local self-government body and travel/tourism industry association so as to forge a strong link between the government and private sectors, to ensure appropriate course of action for the future.

Carrying capacity standard
Capacity of beaches is one of the most studied of all tourism capacity standards, partly because they are a prime tourism resource and have too often been over developed.
Beaches are easily measured in terms of length of sea frontage and width. Various standards apply to beach capacity, depending on the local situation. Beach density can vary from as high as 1.5 sq.m. per person in Mediterranean and North Sea beaches during summer, to as low as 30 sq.m. per person in the tropical beaches.
A common capacity standard prescribed for good quality beach resorts is 10 sq.m. of beach area and 1 metre of beach frontage per person using the beach. Beach turnover at such resorts is typically 1.5 to 3 persons per day, with 20 % of users swimming, and the rest relaxing on the beach. Total number of tourists that can be absorbed by a high-quality beach-oriented resort can be calculated based on these standards.


Regulatory framework for beach resorts
Some of the carrying capacity standards and regulations established for resort development in Maldives are listed below. These may be worth emulating, depending on the applicability:
• Control of tree cutting so that natural appearance and facade of the beach are maintained.
• Maximum area to be utilised by buildings is 20 percent with two storey buildings allowed. This is meant to conserve land area so that there is sufficient vegetation around the buildings.
• Control on height of buildings and suitable landscaping to complement the natural vegetation that must be preserved.
• Architectural control of resort buildings so that they are well integrated into the local environment and tropical climate. Use of local building materials encouraged.
• All guest rooms should be facing the beach with a minimum of 5 meters of linear beach available in front of each room. 68 percent of the total beach length may be used for guestrooms, 20 percent for general resort facility frontage and the remaining 12 percent left as open space.
• Design of boat piers so that they do not result in beach erosion.
• Requirement of adequate water supply – combination of restricted use of ground water, rainwater harvesting and desalination.
• Requirement of proper sewage disposal system that does not pollute ground water or lagoon waters.
• Solid waste disposal system should utilize controlled incinerators, compaction and disposal in deep-water areas.
• Empty cans are to be compressed and plastic materials to be separately collected.
• Encouragement of underground electric, cable lines - overhead wires are discouraged.
• Strict control on collection of corals, sea shells and certain types of fish.

Potential beach destinations in Kerala
Bekal
Bekal in north Kerala is known for its historical fort and pristine beach. The central government declared Bekal as a Special Tourism Area in 1992, and approved the project to transform Bekal into a well-planned model tourist destination with comprehensive infrastructure, premium holiday resorts and excellent service support, with eco-friendliness as the abiding principle. The Kerala government formed the Bekal Resorts Development Corporation (BRDC) in 1995 for implementing the project. The project also attracted considerable controversy in its early days, as people were displaced from several fishing villages.



BRDC has acquired 190 acres of land spread across six plots in the coastal belt between Kanhangad and Kasaragod. The plots vary in extent from 25 to 45 acres each. Each plot has access either to the sea beach or the backwaters and is proposed for development into a resort hotel. BRDC has made provision for power and water supply to the sites. Simultaneously, power and water supply were also augmented in the nearby villages.

BRDC has also developed a park, children’s playground, tourist facilitation centre and boat club at the Pallikere beach near Bekal. BRDC has also taken other initiatives for improvement of tourism facilities in the district (Kasaragod). These include provision of tourist house boats at Valiyaparamba and establishment of a boat club in Chandragiri. Trekking facilities are to be provided and roads are to be developed at Ranipuram hill station and improvements are proposed at Chandragiri Fort.

But going back to the Bekal project, originally one or two resorts were planned to be established in the public sector. But now, the stand taken is that all the projects should come up in the private sector. The private sector is cautious about investing in a relatively virgin area. It is hoped that there would be some positive development during the forthcoming Global Investors Meet. If however, there is none, the government may have to go back to its earlier proposal of taking up one of the resort projects on its own, in order to build confidence in the location among the private sector. The principal problem facing tourism development in north Kerala is that the destinations here are not well known. Also, access and other supporting infrastructure are relatively weak. Nevertheless, a strong product and persistent marketing efforts would bear fruit in the long run.
Kovalam near Thiruvananthapuram is Kerala’s best known and most popular beach destination. As referred to earlier, this place has faced degeneration and downslide in recent times. It is now being re-developed as per a master plan with more secure accommodation for tourists, paid public toilets, clean and leakage- free drainage system, better drinking water facility, etc. Waste material from the coastal area is to be collected and dumped in the fertilizer plant at Vilappilsala. Tourist wardens are to be appointed to provide better security for tourists. The number of massage centers along the coastal line will be restricted and licenses will be granted only to those having the requirements proposed by the Department.
Vizhinjam is a coastal fishing village quite close to Kovalam. Vizhinjam reportedly has several geographical and natural advantages to become one of the major ports on the West Coast of India. It would be only ten miles from the international shipping routes besides having a natural depth of 20 metres within one nautical mile from the shore. Minimum littoral movement and suspended sedimentation in the area provides it the potential to emerge as the deepest port on the west coast of India. A major advantage in Vizhinjam is that its depth can


be maintained without heavy maintenance or dredging. Vizhinjam can attract a substantial chunk of ocean traffic from the West and Sri Lanka. If and when the proposal to develop Vizhinjam as a major port takes shape, it could seriously affect Kovalam’s position as a major tourist destination.
Varkala: Due to a spillover resulting from the over saturation of Kovalam, foreigners started coming to Varkala (about 50 km to the north of Kovalam) in small numbers some years ago. The numbers have been growing steadily. What makes the coastline of Varkala exceptional is its landscape. The towering cliff provides an astounding view of the beach, the sea, surrounding paddy fields and coconut trees. Varkala also has a resort hotel, which was earlier a KTDC property. But most people come on day time visits. The beach is also small and does not offer scope for major development.

There are several beaches in Kerala close to the principal urban areas. For example, beautification and renovation of the Payyambalam Beach at Kannur is in progress under the auspices of the District Tourism Promotion Council. Roads and drainage system have been built as part of the scheme. There is also a plan to develop the backwater at Payyambalam into a lake. There are also beaches adjoining Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha and other urban centres. However, beaches close to the major cities would essentially serve as picnic spots and recreation centres.

Among the relatively secluded beaches, some like the beaches at Kappad and Marari are small. Nonetheless, one of the beaches which perhaps merits serious evaluation is the Muzhappilangad beach in Kannur district, which stretches over a long length along the coast.






Advantages enjoyed by Kerala in offering ayurveda as a tourism product
The ayurvedic system of healthcare is practised all over India. However, Kerala enjoys certain innate advantages in promoting this as a tourism product:
1. A strong ayurvedic tradition, which has evolved into a modern network of ayurvedic pharmaceutical companies, medical colleges, training centres, etc.
2. Forests and medicinal gardens with a wealth of herbs and medicinal plants.
3. Equitable climate and a distinct monsoon season. (The cool and dust-free atmosphere during the monsoons opens up the body’s pores to the maximum, thus making it most receptive to herbal oils and massage therapy.)
Ayurveda has emerged as an important USP in the promotion of tourism in Kerala. The 'Kerala Vision 2025' envisages ayurveda as a thrust area to concentrate upon and develop to the fullest possible extent. In fact, almost all tourist resorts in Kerala have some or the other kind of ayurvedic packages that are highly flexible, both economically as well as in terms of time commitment required (Exhibit 17.1). There is increased awareness and publicity about Kerala as a prime destination for ayurveda.

Competition and need for distinctive positioning of Kerala’s product
However, a variety of therapeutic/rejuvenating massages/packs, etc., are offered as part of the tourism experience in different parts of the world. Ayurveda itself is offered in Sri Lanka and facilities for ayurvedic treatment/rejuvenation are also becoming increasingly available in Europe and U.S.A. Most importantly, ayurvedic centres are also mushrooming in major cities across India, such as Bangalore, Delhi, etc. (Some of these are established by organisations from Kerala itself). As this trend continues, Kerala would have to strengthen its positioning as the ‘real’ destination for ayurveda, and clearly distinguish its product vis-a-vis those available at other places.


Need for precaution in administering ayurvedic rejuvenation packages
Ayurveda is considered to be devoid of side effects. However, definite precautions have to be taken while administering ayurvedic treatment too. For example:
• Pizhichil (oil bath) is not recommended for persons with serious liver and renal problems.
• Blood parameters should be checked and kept at safe levels before commencing any of the intensive treatments.
• Whole body Njavarakizhi (rice bundle massage) is not recommended for patients suffering from diabetes, obesity, cardiac, hepatic and renal problems.
• Sirodhara (head bath with oil, medicated milk or curd) is not recommended in cases of cerebral thrombosis.
• Intensive steam baths affect vital parameters and should be done under the guidance of a physician.
Ayurveda literally means “science of life”. It adopts a holistic approach and aims at restoring and constantly maintaining the body’s natural equilibrium through judicious application of herbal massages, special diets, body therapies, etc., accompanied by special diet/dietary restrictions, appropriate rest and a regimen of approved/non-approved activities. Treatment and medication are to be individualistic, based on an understanding of the person’s constitution. An ideal ayurvedic regimen is to be followed for at least two to three weeks. Certain massages require purgatives and other pre-treatment.
Ayurvedic massages are being widely offered by very many hotels, resorts, etc., all over Kerala (Exhibit 17.2). No basic medical check up is carried out in most cases, when the customer/patient looks apparently healthy. Should there be a mishap anywhere, it could not only lead to a medico-legal case, but the incident could receive wide publicity, resulting in a negative backlash.
The Tourism Department’s certification system for ayurvedic centres (Exhibit 17.3) largely confines itself to infrastructural parameters. In a way, it also shifts the onus of patronising the uncertified ayurvedic centres on the tourist/customer. But this is not a complete insurance against bad publicity, in case any one’s health of life is affected. If something untoward happens in a certified ayurvedic centre, the situation could be worse.
One has to be conscious that a semi-medical product is being offered as a product of relaxation. Procedures and precautions have therefore to be strictly followed. The experts may therefore have to evaluate and consider the need for liability insurance and/or other precautionary measures.



Commercialisation and distortion of traditional ayurveda
Traditional practitioners of ayurveda feel that commercialisation of ayurveda as a tourism product and its strong association with massages has distorted its image. They feel that the trend of every recognised hotel and resort offering commericialised ayurvedic rejuvenation/therapy is not healthy.
Traditional ayurveda requires a lot of time on the part of the patient. Direct sun and swimming are forbidden. The minimum term for a cure is 15 days. Only a small minority of the tourists goes through full treatments following a proper regimen. Most of them do not follow up on their treatment/cure as proposed by the ayurvedic physician.
There is definitely a discrepancy between the real traditional ayurveda and the rejuvenation packages offered by the hotels/resorts. Many of those who have such oil massages may find it refreshing, but not necessarily real value for money. Once the novelty wears off, ayurvedic tourism in its present form may lose its unique position and may end up having to be offered as a mass product at reduced rates.
The product can sustain itself in the long run against competition, provided it can attract repeat business and business from new customers through word of mouth publicity. The traditional practitioners of ayurveda feel that this can happen only if one avoids distortion and commercialisation for quick gains.








Strengthening of Kerala’s position as the home of ayurveda
The classification of ayurvedic centres also needs to bring in a strong element of measuring their competence in the full range of ayurvedic science and their commitment to the ayurvedic system. Traditional ayurveda must be promoted by competent ayurveda authorities for domestic and foreign tourists, both in India and abroad.
Promotional activities will therefore have to emphasize that Kerala is where ayurveda is in continuous practice for thousands of years and is widely practised to this day in its original form. Furthermore, the difference between traditional ayurveda and rejuvenative ayurveda has to be clearly demarcated. The term ayurveda itself is generic and is widely used and misused, understood and misunderstood in different parts of the world. A distinct positioning of the facilities offered in Kerala will therefore be necessary.
It is very important to maintain quality in treatment and rejuvenation regimens so that visiting tourists will become ambassadors of ayurveda to the whole world.
One has to also recognise that ayurveda would be a niche element in Kerala’s tourism economy. It would definitely serve as a strong catalyst to generate interest in the State and help extend tourist stays, but may not grow to be a major contributor to numbers and revenues independently by itself.


Exhibit 17.1
AYURVEDIC HEALTH HOLIDAY PROGRAMMES

Ayurveda offers two kinds of holiday options – rejuvenative and therapeutic. A brief outline of these options is given below.

REJUVENATION PROGRAMMES
• Abhyanga (General total body massage with herbal oils for rejuvenation)
• Elakizhi or Patraswedam (Entire body massage with warm herbal poultices to revitalise the skin and improve skin tone)
• Sweda Karma (Body sudation through medicated steam baths to eliminate impurities, thereby refreshing skin tone, reducing unwanted fat, etc.)
• Beauty Care (Skin care through various face packs; hair care through application of various herbal/natural products; intake of herbal tea).
• Body Slimming (Through medicated herbal powder & oil massages, diet of herbal juices, etc.).
• Meditation and Yoga (Mental and physical exercise to help attain peace of mind, hone concentration and improve one’s health).
• Panchakarma treatment (Five-fold process of cleansing carried out through Vamana – emesis, virechana – purgation, oil-based snehavasti – enema, decoction-based niruhavasti – enema, and nasyam – nasal medication for general mental and physical well being).
• Rasayana Chikitsa (Comprehensive rejuvenation therapy through various massages, internal medicines and medicated steam/herbal baths)
• Kayakalpa Chikitsa (Treatment to retard the aging process through medicines, diet and body care).

THERAPEUTIC PROGRAMMES
(Rejuvenation programmes too adopt some of the common therapies listed below.)
• Dhara – Steady pouring of herbal oils/medicated milk or buttermilk on the forehead/whole body. Variations include:
 Siro Dhara (Pouring oil/medicated liquid on head/forehead only)
 Sarvanga Dhara (For both head and body)
 Oordhwanga Dhara (For diseases of eyes, ears and skin)
 Takra Dhara (To treat memory loss, severe head ache, etc.)
• Snehapanam (Intake of medicated ghee in graded doses for specified periods; to alleviate osteoarthritis, leukemia, etc.).

Contd...




Exhibit 17.1 (Contd...)


• Njavarakizhi or Shashtika Pinda Swedam (Body massage with rice poultice to induce perspiration and bring about biochemical balance; to treat wasting muscles, arthritis/joint pain, sports injuries, spondylitis, etc.).
• Marma Chikitsa (Massage to 108 vital points – ‘marma’s – in the body which control various functions; for musculo-skeletal ailments due to trauma or accidents. Also has pleasurable benefit – releases energy to all parts of the body).
• Udvarthanam (Therapeutic massage with herbal powders; for paralysis/hemiplegia, obesity and certain rheumatic ailments).
• Shirovasthi (Pouring of herbal oil into a leather cap tank fitted over the head; for dryness of nostrils, mouth & throat, facial paralysis, central nervous system disorders).
• Kateevasthi (Medicine is placed in a supporting container above the lumbo sacral area; for prevention and treatment of back pain).
• Nasyam (Inhalation of medicated preparations and neck/face massage; for sinusitis, migraine and chronic cold).
• Karnapooranam (Medicated oil treatment for 5 to 10 minutes daily to treat specific ear ailments).
• Tharpanam (Keeping medicated oil or ghee over the eyes with the help of a small supporting container; to prevent cataract and strengthen optic nerves).
• Vamanam (Induced vomiting; purification treatment for gastrointestinal disorders, asthma, mental illnesses).




Exhibit 17.2
DISTRICT-WISE DISTRIBUTION OF APPROVED AYURVEDA CENTRES
As per published records, there were 29 ayurveda centres approved by the Kerala Tourism Department, whose distribution pattern is tabulated below.
(Numbers)


Sl.
No.
District Ayurvedic hospital/ Health
Centre Ayurvedic holiday resort Hotel/ general resort
Total
1. Thiruvananthapuram 2 4 3 9
2. Kollam -- -- 2 2
3. Alappuzha -- 1 -- 1
Sub-total: SOUTH KERALA 2 5 5 12
4. Kottayam -- -- 3 3
5. Idukki -- 2 2 4
6. Ernakulam -- 1 -- 1
7. Thrissur -- 2 -- 2
8. Palakkad 2 2 -- 4
Sub-total: CENTRAL KERALA 2 7 5 14
9. Kozhikode -- 1 1 2
10. Wayanad -- -- 1 1
Sub-total: NORTH KERALA -- 1 2 3

GRAND TOTAL 4 13 12 29


The main observations are:
1. Hotels/general resorts form a significant proportion of the approved ayurvedic centres.
2. The approved ayurvedic centres are concentrated in south and central Kerala, with relatively few being in north Kerala.


Exhibit 17.3
KERALA GOVERNMENT’S SCHEME FOR CLASSIFICATION OF AYURVEDA CENTRES – A SUMMARY

The growing popularity of ayurveda poses a possibility for misuse, which can lead to a backlash. In 1998, in order to ensure standards and curb the mushrooming of unauthentic centres, the Kerala Government introduced a uniform approval scheme for ayurveda centres fulfilling specified conditions, without quality gradation. A revised scheme was introduced recently to classify ayurveda centres, so as to differentiate the level and quality of facilities and services in the approved ayurveda centres.
The ayurveda centres will now be classified into Olive Leaf and Green Leaf categories based on quality standards maintained by them as prescribed below.

CRITERIA FOR OLIVE LEAF CERTIFICATE
Technical Personnel:
• Treatments/therapies should be done only under the supervision of a qualified physician with a recognised degree in ayurveda.
• There should be at least two masseurs (one male and one female) having sufficient training from ayurveda institutions recognised by the Government.
• Males should be massaged only by male masseurs, and females by female masseurs.
Quality of Medicine and Health Programme:
• The centre should offer only programmes that are approved by the approval committee.
• The health programmes offered at the centre should be clearly exhibited along with time taken for each. The generally approved time limit for a massage is 45 minutes.
• Medicines used should be from an approved and reputed firm. The medicines should be labeled and exhibited at the centre.
Equipment:
The Centre should have at least the following equipment:
• One massage table (minimum 7ft x 3ft) in each treatment room, made of good quality wood/fibre glass
• Gas or electric stove
• Medicated hot water facility for bathing and other purposes
• Facility for sterilisation
Every equipment and apparatus should be clean and hygienic.
Contd...




Exhibit 17.3 (contd...)

Facilities:
• Minimum two treatment rooms (one for males and one for females) having minimum size of 100 sq.ft., with sufficient ventilation. Attached bathroom (not less than 20 sq.ft.) should have proper sanitary fittings; floors and walls should be finished with tiles.
• One consultation room (minimum 100 sq.ft.), equipped with BP apparatus, stethoscope, examination couch, weighing machine, etc.
• Separate resting room (minimum 100 sq.ft.), if the centre is not attached with a hotel/ resort/hospital.
• General construction of the building should be good. Locality and ambience, including accessibility, should be suitable. Furnishing of rooms should be of good quality. The entire building, including surrounding premises, should be kept clean and hygienic.

CRITERIA FOR GREEN LEAF CERTIFICATE
The following additional facilities are essential to get Green Leaf Certificate:
• General construction and architectural features of the building should be of very high standard. The furnishing, curtains, fittings, etc., should be of superior quality materials.
• There should be adequate parking space in the premises.
• The bathroom should have facilities for steam bath.
The following are additional desirable conditions to get Green Leaf Certificate.
• There should be separate hall for meditation/yoga.
• The centre should be at a picturesque location with greenery in abundance and serene atmosphere.
• There should be herbal garden attached to the centre.

Only ayurveda centres which are classified/approved by Department of Tourism, will be eligible for claiming 10% state investment subsidy or electricity tariff concession offered by the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala. Only such centres will be considered for giving publicity and promotion through print and electronic media by the Department.


Source: Relevant Government Order

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