Elephants have always been poster boys for Kerala tourism. In a novel attempt to lure foreign tourists and elephant lovers, the Kerala forest department officials have come up with a hard to resist package.
Two persons can spend a day with an elephant at the Konni Eco-Tourism Centre for INR 2,000. Those who avail the package will get an irresistible deal including a rare chance to feed or bathe the elephant apart from enjoying a safari.
The tourists can visit the elephant camp and can even try their hands in giving these gentle giants a thorough scrub and wash at the bathing ghat in the Achenkovil River. The tourists can also take home a few photographs to keep these priceless moments fresh all their life time. There are currently five elephants at the Konni elephant camp where the tourists can spend around six hours with the elephant. The revenue will be utilized for the maintenance of the camp.
Spread over 7 acres, the Konni Eco-Tourism Centre has many facilities including audio-visual library, elephant museum, restaurant and a children’s park.The third phase of the development of the Konni Eco-Tourism Project at a project cost of over 45 lakh is in the pipeline. The projects in this phase include landscaping work in the elephant camp and improvement of the elephant museum.
So in case you are planning a special gift for someone special think beyond the run of the mill gift ideas and plan a day out with the jumbos. It will surely be something priceless not just for the recipient but also for those who gift it!
Kerala has ample reasons to feel upbeat on New year as this tiny southern state has outsmarted the iconic attraction of Taj Mahal to become India’s topmost travel destination in the Google’s search trends for the year 2012.
Munnar, the fabled hill station of Kerala also featured on the “Top 10″ Indian destinations on Google’s Zeitgiest list featuring the search trends from around the world. While Taj Mahal occupied the second slot , Wagah Border, Vaishno Devi shrine and Amarnath temple followed the trail.
Kerala tourism has been making the most of online promotional tools like Facebook and Twitter in promoting destinations and the encouraging results have inspired everyone behind the innovative advertising campaign. It is a matter of pride that Kerala Tourism website attracts over 250,000 unique visitors every month and take credit to over six million views every year on YouTube.
Kerala would not have asked for a better New Year gift. However, in the days ahead, it has to strive hard to retain its coveted position by offering more innovative tourism activities that would retain the interest of the tourists to retain its top position.
Now that the peak tourist season in many Indian tourist destinations including Kerala has already started, we at Karma Kerala wish to share a few helpful tips to the tourists to ensure a hassle free and enjoyable trip.
Recently a French Family of five members got into legal trouble for possessing fake Indian Rupees. They were duped by a fraudulent money exchanger outside the airport by offering a higher exchange rate than the normal rates. Tourists should make sure that you get the money exchange done in authorized money exchange counters instead of falling prey to swindlers on the prowl!
In case you are on a visit to Kerala then you would be spotting many hoardings with interesting names like Mountain mist, cloud nine, Misty meadows, Green Valley and many many more all along its highways! In case you thought that these were verdant nature parks and forest trails, that Kerala was once famous for, you would be in for a shocking surprise. These are nothing but names of apartments, hotels and home stays that try to lure you with these attractive names, that evoke a Kerala feel!
Kerala was once a land of misty mountains and green valleys; however now a days, all we have are these tasteless concrete structures that have sprang up all along Kerala! For those who are visiting this State after a long gap, this change would be far more evident and distressing.
Unfortunately, Kerala has become a haven for the land mafias and land grabbers where you can buy a hillock, encroach into the backwaters , fill the fertile paddy fields or even sneak into the fragile eco zones and wild life sanctuaries by greasing the palms of the concerned officials. The cash flushed NRIs and the mass tourist trails have indeed left its impact on the unique ecosystem of Kerala.
As the pressure on the natural resources is on the rise by the day, Kerala has long ceased to be God’s own country. Before we head to a point of no return, we all need to put our heads together to make sure that we preserve the landscape and natural beauty of Kerala, which can only ensure the growth of tourism in future. Let us not put our rivers, lakes and paddy fields for sale, for a few pennies. The need of the hour is sustainable tourism on the lines of Kumbalangi village or Lakshadeep , where there is a clamp down on commercial activity and constructions.
The new visa regulations and the escalating costs have brought in a sharp decline in tourism in Kerala and if we fail to heed to the warning signals, it is only a matter of time before Kerala is pushed into oblivion in the global tourist map.
The earth has enough for everyone’s NEED, not for everyone’s GREED.
Kerala Tourism has won the award for the Best International Stand at FITUR, which was held in Madrid, Spain,one of the emerging markets for Kerala Tourism. Held from January 19-23, 2011, this fair attracted many countries from around the world.
Kerala tourism sources said that this is the first time an Indian destination has won this prestigious Award at FITUR, which is one of he largest tourism exhibitions in the world. A commendable achievement by any benchmark, this award will enhance the tourism prospects of God’s own country tremendously.The winner for this Award is selected on the popularity and uniqueness of the design apart from the materials used in making the stand. Colombia and Portugal were the other winners of this Award.
The backwaters of Kerala formed the theme of the award winning stand of Kerala that measured 58.5 sq. m. Designed by Stark Communications Pvt. Ltd. Thiruvananthapuram, this entry from Kerala received much attention in the fair. Chinese fishing nets, country boats and hurricane lamps brought out the bucolic charm of Kerala in this stand, which was made fully with eco-friendly materials. The other participants in the Kerala team included CGH Earth, Pioneer Personalized Holidays, Isola Di Cocco and Travancore Heritage.
Hats off to the envious performance of Kerala in the international platform, whcih has brought laurel from far and wide!
An Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) survey has revealed that almost 35 per cent of domestic travellers preferred coastal destinations like Goa, Puducherry,Kerala and Rameshwaram for their holidays. Hotels in Kerala has been recording a massive business during Christmas and New Year with many hotels fully booked months before. The harsh winter in Europe has also proved beneficial for Kerala as many foreigners have decided to spend their holidays in the warm and sunny state of Kerala instead of remaining cooped up in their homes due to the prevailing snow and frost conditions there .
Leh and Kerala have become the best performers in the domestic travel market, replacing the traditional tourist destinations of Goa and Rajasthan. With the Taj property in Bekal finally taking off, Kerala is all set to make it big in the ensuing tourist season. From monsoon tourism to adventure sporting options like white water rafting and hot air ballooning, Kerala is expanding its vistas in tourism and has positioned itself on a strong turf. Going by the trends, 2011 will be a highly successful year for Kerala, fondly called as the land of the Gods, spices and backwaters!
With the steady increase in the inflow of domestic travelers, especially from the cash rich states like Gujarat and Rajasthan, Kerala hotels have come up with a predominantly vegetarian menu to cater to the eclectic tastes of Jains and other sects who are purely vegetarians. Kerala has become a vegetable dishes-preferred tourist spot, shedding its pseudonym of being a ‘meat-eaters’ paradise’.
The tourism industry has come up with an array of lip smacking vegetable recipes to cater to the vegetarian palates of domestic travelers, which made up 10 percent of the total domestic tourist footfalls that was pegged at 7.8 million last year.
“Pomfret fry or beef curry may be the dining nirvana for some travellers, but an ‘only-vegetarian kitchen’ is essential for many Indian travellers,” Kerala Tourism director M Sivasankar told.
The tourism department has asked 500 star hotels to set up exclusive vegetarian kitchens as part of its Dream Season Campaign. KTDC has started serving vegetarian meals in house boat cruises and in the coming days , more operators might join this trend.
The inflow of rich Jain families is equally high. “We are also taking more care to make foods preferred by the Jain community available,” says Paulson Pookkattil, chef in a houseboat.
With the volcano ash in Europe and the British airways strike threatening to bring down the number of foreign tourist inflow in the coming days, the tourism industry is pinning its hopes on domestic tourism, which is on a steady growth track.
Famously known for its beaches, backwaters and wild sanctuaries, Kerala is all set to kick-off a new trend of wooing more tourists by means of an international kite festival that will be hosted starting May 1 at Kappad beach in Kozhikode district.
Apart from India, kite flyers from top 10 countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Kuwait, China, France, UAE and Britain will be seen displaying their talents for three consecutive days that will attract several thousands of tourists from all over Kerala.
Quite popular in Gujarat, Kerala is the second state to host kite festival along with a seafood festival and a cultural fest that will showcase the local art and culture of the state.
Kapad beach, in Kozhikode is the venue chosen for the kite festival, an extremely favorable seashore for flying kites, the beach is known for its history when Vasco da Gama the Portuguese navigator landed here in 1498. This unique kite festival will attract larger crowds and would enhance the Kerala tourism, which had a dull season few months back.
The kites to be in various shapes and sizes, some even huge as two storey building will cost anything from INR 25,000 upwards, the materials for making them would be supplied to those who want it at free of cost.
A classroom session will also be conducted for those who are interested to know more about kite flying and learn about it.
Related post: Get set to fly high!
In a bid to make Kerala a safe destination for foreign and local tourists, an exclusive tourist police station has been set up in the heritage zone of Mattancherry. The first of its kind in the country, this will make Kerala more tourist friendly and safe.
Mattanchery, home to the Jewish synagogue and various historic edifices holds an important place in the tourist map of Kerala that draws many tourists from far and wide. The special police station will offer all the facilities that any tourist may require. From assisting foreign travelers to clarifying their doubts on passport and visa and registering complaints and grievances on lost passports and expired visa , this police station has a wide gamut of services- all under one roof!
The police would work in tandem with the Department of Tourism to set up a helpdesk at the station, where the tourists can get route maps and brochures about different tourist destinations in the State as well. In addition, there are facilities for tourists to make booking for boating as well as hiring taxis. The State Tourism Department will soon publish the services of tourism police in all leading tourism journals in the world to ensure maximum coverage and publicity of this novel scheme.
The Police museum will have a rich display of police uniforms, combat weapons and armoury, arranged in chronological order right from the colonial period to the present day. With the advent of the tourist police station, the tourists can look forward to have a hassle free and enjoyable sight seeing experience in Mattancherry and FortKochi , considered as tourist hot spots.
Though it might sound paradoxical the truth is that God’s own country is inhabited by devil’s own people who does not seem to care for any human values or ethics. To make a few quick bucks or to satisfy their vices, people stoop to any level these days.
Just go through the recent newspaper reports of satan worship, which will surely shock any average malayalee. Though it was something unheard of in this part of the world, it is not the case anymore! These sinister activities being organized by mostly people from other countries take place in posh apartments right at the city centre in Kochi and draws many followers mostly from overseas. Along with black magic, drug peddling and even nude dances for those who wish to enjoy a high during the rituals, the package is comprehensive and comes with a price too! The entrance fee is Rs. 30,000 and prior booking is essential.
Impure blood, urine collected in a human skull, triangle shaped slices of bread etc are some of the things that are being used for the ‘black mass’ which will be held on the 13th of every month. The so called organizers of this black mass fool people by making fake claims that these can solve many problems including financial woes and enmity. On the D day , the door number of the apartment or the proposed venue of the black mass will be changed to 666- the customary symbol of the devil- to make sure that the customers do not stray into other flats! Interestingly, the door number will be changed back to the original building number once the satan ritual is over.
These fraudsters who go all out to hoodwink the naive and the unsuspecting customers might bring bad repute to Kerala and its tourism sector. It could well be with the connivance of the locals who are willing to sell the Kerala brand for an extra dollar or Euro, nonetheless, most of them do not seem to be aware of the dangers and the long term repercussions of bad publicity.. Tourism has always been a thriving business in Kerala and in fact it is the only business that has survived the trade unionism that prevails here! We would be killing the goose that lays the golden eggs by helping people who are engaged in these vicious activities under the cover of Kerala tourism. Anyone listening?