The travel trade in Kerala is beginning to rope in local communities and the environment to cater to a growing number of visitors with sensitivity. Responsible tourism makes positive contributions to the conservations of natural and cultural heritage embracing diversity. Responsible tourism is fast becoming a global trend and Kerala – the God’s own country provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues.
Kerala has 12 Wildlife sanctuaries and 2 National parks and is also rich in biodiversity. There are well informed public and conservation groups who are always watchful of the adverse impacts of eco tourism initiatives. Thus, Kerala is a place that supports Ecotourism and ecotourism primarily means marketing the serene natural habitats as tourism product with an inherent element of nature education. Kerala has several ecotourism centers including Alapuzha, Athirapally and Vazhachal, Bhoothathan Kettu, Kochin, Devikulam, Edakkal Caves, Kumarakom, Munnar, Ponmudi, etc. Some of them are described as follows:
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Alleppey or Allapuzza is one of the most important tourist centers in Kerala. There is a large network of inland canals earning in the sobriquet “Venice of East”. An intricate network of canals in Alleppey, especially the ones that are a part of Vembanad Lake are just the place if you wish to see some really awe inspiring beauty.
A journey through the curving and winding Kerala backwaters in houseboats of Kerala is an experience of returning to nature. Houseboat holidays have become popular in the backwaters and provide an extremely soothing experience.
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Munnar is one of the most popular hill resort towns in Kerala. It is a commercial center with one of the world’s best tea estates. Most residents of Munnar are employed in the tea industry or are involved in the tourism business. Several protected Wildlife areas and the regions salubrious climate attract many tourists to this beautiful hill resort.
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A cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is a picturesque and clean village. The bird sanctuary here is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist’s paradise. Kumarakom is an enchanting backwater destination, which also offers many other leisure options to its visitors like boating and fishing facilities.
Responsible Tourism is the first ever initiative in India produced significant outputs at destinations in terms of enhanced cultivation and community participation. So as in Kerala, it provides an opportunity for locals as well visitors to indulge them in the beauty of nature. Responsible tourism endeavors in Kerala is a very good effort on the part of all the stakeholders involved as it will not only offer ample livelihood opportunities to the locals but will also ensure their active participation thus making them more responsive and responsible for their environment. It will also ensure more awareness about the surroundings which will lead to positive step forward for enhanced sustainability and conservation of the local ecosystem.
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