Tourism in Kerala took a big hit since the pandemic. It is one of the biggest revenue-generating sectors in the State. However, the pandemic slowed down tourism, affecting many families who were dependent on this sector for their livelihood. As a way to revive the economy and tourism, the Kerala Government has launched caravan tourism. It’s an initiative to promote travelling around the state in caravans.
Why Is Caravan Tourism Brilliant?
One of the primary reasons why travellers hesitate to travel to a new location is the fear of contracting the virus. There is stress about the hygiene and cleanliness of the place of stay. Caravan tourism solves this issue.
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It follows the houseboat model where travellers can be mobile on their own. In a caravan, travellers can stay somewhere on the hills overlooking a waterfall or in between a forest and cook their own meals.
One of the major issues of caravan tourism, however, is access to camping infrastructure. Getting them at affordable rates, and tieing up with motels, hostels, and hotels is a task. The minimum land required for caravan parking is close to 50 cents. In addition to that, at least five parking spaces, security and safety arrangements, and sanitation facilities are equally important. Since the Kerala Government is keen on implementing caravan tourism as a public-private partnership (PPP) model, they will also be looking at creating a safe and comfortable environment for tourists.
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Biju B.S., Deputy Director, Marketing, Kerala Tourism, shared, “Caravan vehicles will be operated by the private sector and the government will facilitate branding and promotion. We plan to roll out the project from January 2022. Already, there is an overwhelming response to the project.”
How Does The Government Plan To Roll Out This Iniative?
The Government plans to popularise areas in Kerala that are lesser-known. They plan to launch 100 caravans that will take tourists to different parts of Kerala. According to The Hindu, each caravan will come with a “sofa-cum-bed, kitchenette with fridge and microwave oven, dining table, toilet cubicle, partition behind the driver, air-conditioner, internet connectivity, audio-video facilities, charging system and GPS. The policy also features IT-enabled real-time monitoring of caravans to ensure the security of the guests.”
The Government will also have to look at designated caravan parks where travellers can spend a night or day. As part of the initiative, the government also plans to give subsidies to caravan operators.
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Caravan Tourism in Kerala has the potential to be successful with the combined effort of the government, private operators and local communities. It is one of the best ways to adapt to the COVID-induced climate.