Kerala: Under this scheme, local bodies in the state can decide the tourism projects to be implemented in their areas. The scheme, being implemented under the Village Development project, was inaugurated by Chief Minister V S Achutanandan.
The tourism department will soon launch a year-long event called ‘Utsavam´during the the popular state festival, Onam, with the aim of popularizing the state’s rich cultural and artistic tradition.
It would feature traditional art forms, including dance-drama based performance. 36 centres have been identified for staging performances with 30 programmes to be conducted at each venue. More than 1,000 programmes would be staged during the year.
An art calendar, giving details of venues, dates and performances, was ready and would be sent to tour operators and agencies abroad. The calendar would feature 50 art forms, ranging from folk art to classical and ritual.
Plans to market the state’s northern Malabar region were also on with road shows being held. About 4.5 lakh international tourists visited the state last year, an over 23% growth over the previous year, Kaul said. This year, Kerala was targeting 25% growth in foreign tourist arrivals.
About 64 lakh domestic tourists visited the state last year mostly from north and western India. This year the state was expecting a healthy 5% growth figure.