Global RT Summit delegates visit tourist sites and interact with locals
The Global Responsible Tourism Summit was held from February 25th to 28th in the picturesque village of Maravanthuruthu, Kerala.
The four-day conclave vowed to implement proposals to boost the state’s vital travel and tourism industry. As part of the event, 42 speakers visited Kerala Tourism’s pioneering STREET project in scenic Maravanthuruthu, 25 km north of Kumarakom. Accompanied by an ethnic Chendamelam ensemble, the team, which consisted of foreign and Indian delegates, was given a warm welcome to the experiential tourism site with its vast backwaters.
Kerala Responsible Tourism Mission Coordinator K. Rupeshkumar welcomed the guests in the presence of Gram Panchayat President KB Rama and Vice President VT Prathapan. Visitors interacted with local communities after which cultural programs were presented in the spirit of the imaginative government project called STREET.
About the STREET project
The project, conceived by the Responsible Tourism Mission, is inspired by the slogan “Tourism for Inclusive Growth” of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). STREET is an acronym for Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic, Tourism Hubs. Inaugurated 10 months ago, Maravanthuruthu is the first STREET hub.
At the launch of the project, Minister of Tourism and Public Works PA Mohammed Riyas said the project offered huge potential for growth in the tourism sector and would bring about significant changes. “It aims to showcase our state’s unique identity to travelers. It will promote mutually beneficial organic relationships between tourism development in the state and people’s normal life,” he added.
The event at Maravanthuruthu
The visiting team on Tuesday included among the 12 delegates Dr. Harold Goodwin (UK), Glynn O’Leary (South Africa), Christopher Warren (Australia), Charmarie Maelge (Sri Lanka), Shubham Agnihotri (Taiwan) and Sarah Hansburg (Austria). from foreign countries. Among the guests from India were officials from the Ministry of Tourism and tour operators from 14 states.
From Maravanthuruthu, the team was escorted five kilometers south to the village of Kulasekharamangalam, where they were welcomed with a traditional Panchavadyam percussion concert.
Team members enjoyed their activities of kayaking and horseback riding on local boats such as Shikara and Kutta.
The popular Garudan Parava dance added color and liveliness. Delegates watched and participated in several arts and crafts activities such as Such as coconut palm leaf braiding, mat weaving and coconut fiber braiding.
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