As many as 42 speakers at the first-ever Global Responsible Tourism Summit visited Kerala Tourism’s pioneering STREET project in scenic Maravanthuruthu in the Kottayam district, bringing curtains down on the four-day conclave that vowed for implementation of proposals to boost the State’s vital travel and tourism industry.
Comprising foreign and Indian delegates, the team received a warm welcome to the accompaniment of an ethnic Chendamelam ensemble at the experiential tourism site with its sprawling backwaters in the village of Maravanthuruthu, 25 km north of Kumarakom.
Kerala Responsible Tourism Mission Coordinator K. Rupeshkumar welcomed the guests in the presence of Gram Panchayat President KB Rama and Vice-President VT Prathapan.
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The visitors interacted with the local communities, after which cultural programs were presented in the spirit of the Government’s imaginative project named STREET (Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic Tourism). Maravanthuruthu is the first STREET hub, inaugurated 10 months ago.
The visiting team comprised Harold Goodwin (UK), Glynn O’Leary (South Africa), Christopher Warren (Australia), Charmarie Maelge (Sri Lanka), Shubham Agnihotri (Taiwan), and SarahHansburg (Austria), among the 12 delegates from abroad.
Within India, the guest included Tourism Department officials and tour operators totaling 30 from 14 states as far as Himachal Pradesh in the north, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh from the Northeast, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh from Central India, Gujarat and Maharashtra from the west, and West Bengal and Orissa from the east.
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The team members enjoyed their engagements with kayaking and riding on a variety of boats, such as shikara and kutta. The delegates watched and participated in art-and-craft activities, such as braiding coconut palm leaves, weaving mats, and coir twining.