THIRUVANANTHAPRAM: Measures to encourage private investment in tourism adhering to the principles and practices of sustainability, fast track for clearance to projects above Rs.10 crore, tax holidays for accommodation units in lesser developed northern districts, and steps to yield 26 lakh foreign tourist arrivals and 180 lakh domestic tourist arrivals by 2021 are the highlights of the draft tourism policy of Kerala, reports The Hindu.
A Cabinet Committee on Tourism with Chief Minister as Chairman to oversee the implementation of infrastructure projects in tourism sector is another feature of the policy that has been unveiled for discussion. Residential tariff for home stays, Task Forces against Trafficking and Abuse, Kerala Clean Toilet Campaign, Campaign for Kerala Waste Free Destination, Task Forces for Marketing, Infrastructure Development and Responsible Tourism have been proposed.
A Kerala Convention Promotion Bureau to market Kochi region aggressively in the MICE segment, Hop-on Hop-off services to select tourist destinations, and a Contingency Response Cell to tackle any eventuality in destinations have been suggested.
The mission of the policy is to provide a world-class yet local experience to tourists, attract investment that will be sensitive to the natural environment, ensure benefits of tourism to communities and value their contribution, and position Kerala as a visible global brand.
Kerala Tourism will prepare infrastructure plans for major destinations in association with the line departments. A new campaign on ‘Kerala Waste Free Destination’ (KWFD) will be launched with the active participation of local bodies, NGOs and Self-Help Groups.