‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala has yet again proved itself worthy of its well-earned accolade. This time it’s not for its picturesque landscape, lush greenery, spiritual temples, wholesome food, calm backwaters or even its welcoming folk. This time it’s for the inclusive tourism initiative, where tourism hotspots in Kerala are all set to become specially-abled friendly by 2021. This remarkable announcement was recently made by Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran while replying to a question in the Assembly.
What Are The Facilities?
The Tourism Minister, Kadakampally Surendran further stated that the Kerala government has spotted around 120 tourist destination across the state during its first phase. The best part is that the work on 98 tourist spots has already been completed to make them specially-abled friendly. The work on other tourist spots is still in progress.
Tourist destinations in Kerala will have special parking and toilet facilities for the differently-abled. There will also be special tour packages under the Responsible Tourism initiative to cater to the needs of the differently-abled. Tourism spots in the state will have wheelchairs, accessible ramps, walking sticks, folding walkers, crutches, special signage, tactile walkways, Braille brochures and audio guides. Kerala’s tourist destinations will soon house basic amenities to facilitate an inclusive, barrier-free environment for every tourist out there.
Kerala Tourism is now targetting a growth of 10 to 12 per cent in both earnings and arrivals. In 2018 alone, around 16.7 million tourists have visited Kerala. It earned revenue of around ₹36,528.01 crores from the tourism sector last year. A wonderful inclusive initiative like this will not make the state a travel hub spot. It will also provide travellers with a comfortable hassle-free travel experience.
Kerala has made its mark on the world tourism map. So much so, that Kerala has bagged the first spot in the top 20 global trending destinations for 2020, as per a global Airbnb survey, beating international destinations like the USA and even Thailand. God’s Own Country, is truly giving its tourist spots an inclusive spin and welcoming travelling from different parts of the country and the world, in a beautiful manner. We hope many other states also take inspiration from this and come up with remarkable specially-abled friendly measure.