Industry responds to ‘power girl’ tourism – Newindpress.com
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Single women or “power girl” groups form at least 35 percent of the tourists coming to Kerala, especially to its homestays, farmstays and eco-lodges. The industry has responded to the trend by organising ladies-only jungle treks, cycling expeditions and even elephant safaris.
Interestingly, these ladies do not clamour for additional security. “They are empowered in all sense of the term. They just want to shake off their men and be on their own,” says Vancheeswaran of Wynberg Resorts, Wayanad.
For a state that has adopted “responsible tourism” as its new mantra, the ‘ladies only’ influx is most welcome. Says Tourism Director B Suman, “Females are more attuned to responsible tourism. They are drawn intuitively to community welfare.”
The female-driven success of responsibletravel.com underscores the point. “My big thing is to stay at eco-lodges or places with real food and real people, where you get real sense of contributing to the local economy,” says UK doctor Rachel Yearsley, who spent her last holidays alone in a homestay in Kochi.
“If women feel they can travel all by themselves across the length and breadth of the state, what better endorsement do I need,” the Tourism Director asks “
The Kerala Tourism Department plans to convert the elephant yard attached to Sree Krishna temple in Guruvayur into a major tourist destination.
The captive elephants yard in the temple came into existence in 1975.
Sixty-five elephants will together make up one of the biggest tourist attraction in Kerala.
With the state government planning to pump Rs 5 crore into the project, tourists will get a chance to spend time with the beautiful beasts.
Visitors will also get a chance to watch the jumbos bathe, feed them their favourite snack and also get a bit of Ayurveda treatment. The project will be formally inaugurated on Friday.
“Our aim is promote tourism in the area. It is a unique place with lot of potential. We intend to implement this project with the help of Devaswom Board to ensure more and more people come to this place to watch elephants,” said E K Bharat Bhushan, Principal Secretary Tourism.
Lakhs of devotees come to Guruvayur temple every year and each one makes it a point to visit this elephant yard here.
“It’s amazing we have never seen so many elephants together. This is the first time in my life. We like the elephants very much,” said a visitor.
Each of the 65 elephants were an offering at the Guruvayur temple made by devotees including former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha and Malayalam superstar Suresh Gopi.
Due to lack of space temple authorities have now stopped accepting elephants as offerings.
Authorities say maintaining them is a huge task, the pachyderms consume 11,000 kgs of palm leaves and 5000 kg of hybrid grass each day besides tonnes of bananas and rice.
Around 30,000 litres of water is required everyday to bathe the elephants, which is done by 200 mahouts.
The Devaswom Board spends Rs 3 crore each year for their upkeep and is now looking forward to their elephants becoming a major tourist attraction.