Water tourism to be the next big item in Kerala’s tourism menu

Kerala Tourism will look to tap the state’s inherent potential and develop water tourism in a big way

In its effort to explore many untapped areas for the growth of tourism in the state, the Kerala Department of Tourism is mulling over developing water tourism in a big way. Kerala Tourism will look to tap the inherent potential of the state in this arena and try to seize on the growing global demand as part of developing water tourism. The Department of Tourism will also set up a surfing school at Beypore.

The realisation that water tourism holds huge potential came about as the state organised the Beypore Water Fest just ahead of the dawn of the New Year. This event turned out to be successful and thus added a new Kerala event on the global tourism map, earning plaudits from domestic and foreign travellers. Fascinated by the Beypore Water Fest, a group of visitors from France, on Monday, called on the Minister for Tourism P A Muhammed Riyas at his official residence and conveyed their appreciation.

Three tourists from France, who were deeply impressed by the event organised at the ancient port town of Beypore on the Malabar Coast, lauded the Minister for organizing excellent and variety of items at the water festival.

Water tourism to grab global tourism demand

Minister Riyas told the visitors that Kerala plans to develop water tourism as a major segment by tapping on the inherent potential of the state and seize on the growing global demand. “We are glad that the inaugural edition of the Beypore Water Fest could grab global attention and that would encourage Kerala Tourism to take it forward as an annual feature,” Riyas said after meeting sport kite experts Maxim David, his wife Katia Zen and Marie Pierre – the French trio.

The French visitors also conveyed to the Minister that Kerala had great prospects in developing kite-flying as a recreational sport. The discipline can be included in the proposed surfing school, they told the Minister.

The Water Fest at Beypore is the latest addition in Kerala’s efforts to keep the tourism momentum going, even at a time when the pandemic has been a hassle. Beypore is a coastal strip 6 km south of Kozhikode, and has historical importance for the way it functioned as a port, providing a vital link in maritime trade with West Asia, long before the advent of the Western colonialists.

Beypore to be Model Responsible Tourism destination

The festival had also marked the beginning of the Kerala government’s plan to develop Beypore as a Model Responsible Tourism destination to bring to world attention the heritage of the ancient port town as Malabar’s commercial hub, with a legacy of building the weather-resistant wooden, traditional ships, called Uru, locally.

The festival had featured races and celebrations in 10 venues. These included kayaking, paddle race, display boat, boat races, the Navy’s band music and an exhibition of naval ships. The festival also saw a sailing regatta curated by retired Naval officer-yachtsman, Commander Abhilash Tomy, the first Indian to complete a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the world under sail.

Developing Beypore into a model responsible tourism destination would enable itself to help earn a prominent place for the Malabar town known for its ship-building tradition and age-old cross-cultural influences.

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