• Milmas PET Bottle Curd 500gm bags award

    Milma’s PET Bottle Curd of 500 gram, launched by its Thiruvananthapuram Regional Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union (TRCMPU) recently, has bagged the ‘Metro Product of the Year’ award.

    Food and Civil Supplies Minister Shri G R Anil presented the award to Shri N Bhasurangan, Convener, Administrative Committee, TRCMPU, at a function held at Hotel SP Grand Days, Trivandrum to mark the World Food Day. Minister for Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Smt J Chinchurani was present on the occasion. The Metro Food Brand Awards have been jointly instituted by Metro Mart and the Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce & Industries with support from the South Kerala Hoteliers Forum.

    Receiving the award, Shri Bhasurangan said TRCMPU is in the process of manufacturing yogurt along with other new products. “All the three regional unions of Milma are making coordinated efforts to raise the quality of Milma products to global standards,” he added.  

    The pet bottle Curd is made from skimmed milk using probiotic culture and hence is ideal for people with lifestyle diseases like Cholesterol and diabetes, as well as stomach and gastro-related illnesses.

    As part of products diversification and scaling up of the marketing network, Milma has launched five new products in the last three months

  • Tourism Minister dedicates Air Force Museum at Akkulam Tourist Village

    Rs 1.97 cr-project set up with technical support of Indian Air Force
    Tourism Minister Shri P A Mohamed Riyas inaugurated the Flight Simulator Museum (Air Force Museum) set up by the Department of Tourism with the technical support of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Akkulam Tourist Village here, coinciding with the 89th Foundation Day of IAF.

    The museum, which takes the visitors through a simulated flight experience and has several other riveting features, has been built at a cost of Rs 1.97 crore.

    “This project will be beneficial not only for Akkulam and the capital district but for entire Kerala Tourism. The museum gives an opportunity to know more about Indian Air Force. The aircraft-model museum and the flight engine will be a novel experience for visitors,” Shri Riyas said in his address.

    Kerala Tourism had opened a new front that offers immense possibilities through the Caravan policy announced recently. The caravan parks will generate a lot of employment for local people. The Government will extend all support like quick approvals for electricity connection for setting up caravan parks. Caravan Tourism will also provide plenty of opportunities for local artistes to perform before tourists, earn income and sustain the art forms, Shri Riyas said. 

    Air Marshal J Chalapati, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Air Command (SAC), IAF, was the Chief Guest on the occasion. 

    In his address, Air Marshal Chalapati said, “the idea of setting up such a museum was mooted in 2018 and we got the nod from the government to go ahead with it in 2019. Kerala Tourism, which funded the project, was instrumental in the speedy execution of the project and it was completed in record time.” 

    “We have two objectives in establishing the museum. One is to make it highly attractive to visitors and the second is to motivate the youth of Kerala to join IAF. The flight simulator installed here will give a realistic experience for all,” he added.

    The Air Force Museum project was conceived by Kerala Tourism in collaboration with Southern Air Command of IAF, whose headquarters is located close to the tourist village, to create awareness among the visitors about IAF and importance of national security.

    Shri Kadakampally Surendran, MLA, who presided over the function, said, “For the conservation of Akkulam Lake, Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) has given in-principle sanction for Rs 185.23 crore. Of the total budget, KIIFB has already given approval for Rs 64.13 crore. But the implementation of the complete project needs another Rs 96 crore, for which we are awaiting KIIFB’s approval.”  

    The museum was completed in two phases. In the first phase, around Rs 98 lakh was spent for landscaping and creating flight model structure. In the second phase, administrative sanction for Rs 99 lakh was given for the construction of museum interior and other related works.  

    The two-floor aircraft-model museum has all the most modern facilities. A flight cockpit model with simulator and rest room facilities have been set up on the ground floor. The top floor has a Motivation Room for giving inspiration to visitors, photographs depicting the glorious history of IAF and an exhibition of IAF machinery.   

    Shri V R Krishna Teja, Director, Tourism, Kerala, in his welcome address, said the development of Akkulam Tourist Village is an important project for Kerala Tourism. The Air Force Museum is a key feature of the ambitious project being implemented by Kerala Tourism in the capital, he added. Ms Arya Rajendran, Mayor, Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, said the Corporation would support all ventures like this in the tourism sector. She emphasised the need to maintain the museum and its surroundings properly for the promotion of tourism in the capital region.

    Department of Tourism Joint Director Shri Shahul Hameed proposed a vote of thanks.

    Air Vice Marshal D.V. Wani, SAC, IAF; Air Vice Marshal B.N. Kumar; Air Commodore J Jayachandran; and Ward Councillor Shri Suresh Kumar. S, were also present. 

    A total of Rs 9.34 crore has been spent for creating the musical fountain, renovation of artificial waterfall, coffeeshop, bicycle track, renovation of swimming pool, children’s park and sports equipment at the Tourist Village. 

  • Kerala announces comprehensive Caravan Tourism policy

    Caravan Tourism: Next big thing for Kerala Tourism after  houseboats in three decades

    Rising to the demands and preferences of tourists in the post-pandemic world, Kerala announced a comprehensive, stakeholder-friendly Caravan Tourism Policy, promising the visitors a safe, customized, and closest-to-nature travel experience.

    “This marks a paradigm shift in almost three decades after the state made it big with houseboat tourism that provided a unique experience to visitors and positioned the state as a major global destination,” Tourism Minister  P A Mohamed Riyas said while unveiling the policy which offers attractive investment subsidy to Caravan operators.

    “Like other successful tourism products of Kerala launched since 1990s, Caravan Tourism is also to be developed on PPP mode with private investors, tour operators and local communities being key stakeholders,” Shri Riyas said at a press conference

    He said investment subsidy would be given to Caravan operators, the details of which would be announced soon.

    “The policy envisages laying down the broad framework for the development and encouragement of Caravan Tourism in Kerala, predominantly in the private sector through incentivizing the purchase of caravans and for establishing caravan parks, chalking out the process and procedures for its operations and approvals”, the Minister added.

    On this occasion,  Riyas also unveiled the logo of Caravan Tourism. The project will be rolled out in the next few months.

    “Caravan Tourism imparts an added thrust to the State’s inclusive approach of leveraging the tourism potential of the entire state by bringing to attention many an unexplored spot side-by-side the promotion of established destinations. Every unexplored destination can be made accessible with the rollout of this meticulously drawn-up policy,” said Dr. Venu V, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism.

    The two major components of this activity are Tourism Caravans and Caravan Parks. While the first involves specially-built vehicles for travel, leisure, and stay, the Caravan Parks are designated places to park the vehicles and enable the visitors to spend a night or a day or station for an extended period to explore the destination.

    Caravan Tourism will also promote Responsible Tourism activities for sustainable growth and for the benefit of the local communities, promote eco-friendly practices, and market for local products.

    “Going by Kerala’s inherent strengths of natural beauty and tourism-friendly -culture, Caravan Tourism has immense scope for the state. Besides offering a

    refreshing experience for the tourists, local communities stand to gain substantially by enabling them to showcase their culture and products before

    the visitors”, said  V R Krishna Teja, Director, Tourism.

    There will be two types of caravans. In one model, two guests shall be accommodated, while the other is for a family of four members.   

    The tourism caravans will have all the necessary facilities for a comfortable stay such as sofa-cum-bed, kitchenette with fridge and microwave oven, dining table, toilet cubicle, partition behind the driver, Air-conditioner, internet connectivity, audio-video facilities, charging system, and GPS.
    Eco-friendliness being a major feature of Caravan Tourism, preferably Bharat Stage VI compliant vehicles will be pressed into service. Assuring complete security of the guests, there will be IT-enabled real-time monitoring of caravans.

    A fool-proof approval mechanism is also put in place for according approval for the operation of caravans based on the procedures set by the State Motor Vehicles Department in accordance with the Central Motor Vehicles Rules.

    The caravan parks are to be developed in the private sector, public sector, or in the joint sector. The configuration of parks will vary from location to location, even though the fundamental attributes remain the same. 

    A caravan park will be a completely safe and secure zone offering a hassle-free and stress-free environment to tourists, protected with necessary features like a compound wall, adequate security, and safety arrangements, patrolling, and surveillance cameras. The Park authorities will maintain effective coordination with local authorities and medical establishments to attend to medical emergencies.

    The minimum land required for a park will be 50 cents, with at least 5 parking bays. The park design should be compatible with its surroundings, causing the least possible disturbance to the site. Landscaping and plantation have to be planned to ensure privacy, green cover and take into account such factors as wind, dust, and noise.

    The parks in hilly and ecologically fragile areas will have to incorporate creative architecture in conformity with local heritage. The parks should have proper water harvesting structures. There should be strategically located open space for recreation, a forecourt, drive-in area, and turning circles. The parks will have Tourist Facilitation Centres to inform the visitors of amenities and services available.

  • Luxury cruise from Mumbai reaching Kochi with 1,200 tourists

    Berthing of MV Empress to mark revival of domestic tourism

    Signalling the re-opening of the pandemic-hit tourism sector in Kerala for upcountry visitors, a luxury cruise from Mumbai with 1,200 travellers on board is reaching Kochi tomorrow (September 22). 
    The luxury liner MV Empress, owned by Cordelia Cruises, will anchor at Cochin Port, Willingdon Island, at 5 am.  
    Around 800 guests on the ship, hailing from various states, will disembark at Kochi to explore a slice of the rich culture and history of the port city, in an on-shore tour adhering to Covid-19 protocols. 
    The tourists will be taken to Mattancherry and Fort Kochi, touching several points of historical importance for which the area is famed. A boat ride on the backwaters will unfold the mesmerising beauty of the ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’ before the visitors.  
    Kerala Tourism Minister Shri P A Mohamed Riyas said, “The arrival of domestic tourists marks a promising start to the full-scale resumption of Kerala Tourism, overcoming the pandemic-induced crisis. This trend is set to gain pace in the coming days. “ 
    “Kerala is a safe and secure place for the lock-down weary vacationers to come as we have put in place an efficient and meticulous bio-bubble model to create protective layers of inoculated service providers to receive and host tourists,” the Minister added.
    Dr Venu V, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism, said, “Tourism sector in Kerala is fast reconfiguring itself from the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. All destinations across the state are getting ready to receive guests. We are looking forward to a busy season ahead.”
    Shri V R Krishna Teja, Director, Tourism, said, tourism activities in Kerala is regaining its full pace. The recently announced visitor and stakeholder friendly Caravan Tourism policy will expedite the process.       
    The cruise ship will leave for Kadamat, the Lakshadweep, in the afternoon . Voyager Kerala is the tour agent of the Kochi sight-seeing of the trip.

  • High demand from International Travel Exhibitors and Sponsors sets tone for ITB Asia 2021 Virtual

    Welcoming Elite Partners - Berlin Brandenburg Airport and Saudi Tourism Authority
    Asia’s Largest Travel Trade Show with over 900 buyers expected to be in attendance for the 5 days all-virtual show co-located with MICE Show Asia and Travel Tech Asia

    Singapore, 15 September 2021 – The countdown to ITB Asia Virtual 2021 has begun. The show, which takes place from 25 – 29 October 2021 virtually, is seeing a high demand from tourism organisations and partners. As the tourism industry shows promising signs of recovery, the event sees increasing uptake of travel trade buyer registrations, as more trade professionals are looking to explore business opportunities and to connect with travel trade suppliers and partners.

    Elite Partners Announced

    For the first time, Berlin Brandenburg Airport and Saudi Tourism Authority are announced as Elite Partner of this year’s ITB Asia 2021 Virtual, Asia’s leading travel trade show. As Elite Partners, both organisations will be represented at ITB Asia 2021 Virtual with several session including live webinars exclusively curated for the Asian travel trade market and a welcome speech. Digital visitors will be able to connect with the partners via live chat functions during their session(s).

    Strong Tourism Organisation participation for 2021

    The premier meeting place for the travel trade industry, ITB Asia is seeing strong participations from the National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) like Azerbaijan Tourism Board, Japan National Tourism Organisation, Maldives Marketing Tourism Promotion, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia, Saudi Tourism Authority, Singapore Tourism Board, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Tourism Promotions Board Philippines and Visit Scotland.

    In addition to the NTOs, the show welcomes other key Tourism Organisations including Busan Tourism Organisation, Business Events Perth, Jeju Convention & Visitors Bureau, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Penang Global Tourism, Sabah Tourism Board, Saint Petersburg Convention Bureau, Sapporo Convention Bureau, Sarawak Tourism Board, Shibuya Convention Bureau, Suruga Marketing & Tourism Bureau, Visit Iseshima Bureau, Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau and Zagreb Tourist Board.

    Participating Tourism Organisations will be showcasing their latest products and services for the travel industry. A number of them will be sharing key insights and presenting travel trends in the conference of ITB Asia 2021 Virtual. The tourism organisations, with their co-exhibitors will be available online to network with virtual trade visitors and buyers.  Attendees can also conduct virtual business appointments via social video and messaging functions. (From 25 – 29 October, 5 full days)

    Exhibiting hotels and resorts at ITB Asia 2021 Virtual

    Among this year’s exhibiting hotels and resorts at ITB Asia 2021 Virtual are Best Western Hotels & Resorts Asia, Far East Hospitality, Frasers Hospitality, Meliá Hotels International, Park Hotel Group, WorldHotels Collection, Worldwide Hotels and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

  • Kerala aiming for 15000 startups by 2026 CM at opening of KSUMs Digital Hub

    Kerala is working towards a four-fold increase in the number of startups by aiming to take their total to 15,000 in the next five years, Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan said today.
    To realise the plan, the government will set up technology labs and incubators that will play a critical role for nascent firms to transformthe state into a knowledge society,he said after inaugurating a pioneering digital hub by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) at Kalamassery, 15 km north of this city.

    Since internet connectivity is crucial for the growth of startups, authorities have already come up with complementary projects such as K-Fon. The government will continue to ensure equitable distribution of resources while building an innovation ecosystem, the Chief Minister pointed out at the function marking the opening of the KSUM’s facility that aims to host a vibrant ecosystem comprising incubators, accelerators and Centres of Excellence in emerging technologies.

    “The work space totalled two lakh square feet in 2019 when KSUM opened Technology Innovation Zone (TIZ). Today, the Digital Hub has helped double that space,” Shri Vijayan said, pointing out that KSUM provides interest-free loans to startups. Venture funding with a corpus of Rs 750 crore will be made available. Besides venture capital worth Rs 250 crores are anticipated from financial institutions such as Kerala Bank, KSIDC, KFC and KSFE.

    In his virtual address at the event amid the physical presence of Cabinet colleague Shri P Rajeeve, among others, Shri Vijayan stressed the “growing importance” of knowledge, innovation and creativityin a world where best ideas win in the market. “We are particular that shortage of funds should not stand in the way of conversion of a brilliant innovative idea into marketing reality,” he noted, referring to Digital Hub’sprospective emergence as one of South Asia’s largest product development centers for technology startups.

    As Kerala’s startups will be linked internationally in a big way, KSUM will find its place on the global technological map. “We will organize programmes such as ‘Innovation Challenge’ for the youths to prove their competence. The winners will get government assistance to market their product,” the Chief Minister said.

    The state capital of Thiruvananthapuram is envisaged to become a hub of AI (artificial intelligence). “The Covid-19 times have shown us the vitality of data collection, distribution and analysis. Considering this, the government is looking at the scope for strengthening the data parks,” Shri Vijayan added, stressing the need for lesser dependence on foreign countries for software and hardware.

    Tailor-made to this vision, the state-of-the-art Digital Hub at Technology Innovation Zone (TIZ) occupies 2 lakh square feet of built-up space with a capacity to support 200 startups, besides the 165 startups hosted in the adjoining Integrated Startup Complex of KSUM. Housing a design incubator, healthcare incubator, CoE (Center of Excellence) for Mouser Electronics, co-working spaces, design studios, investors hive and an innovation center, the hub is envisaged to be a destination for designing and prototyping, opening for international organisations and institutions to build world-class products.

    Minister for Law, Industries and Coir Shri P. Rajeeve, in his presidential address, said the government was determined to go ahead with its plans to encourage the state’s young entrepreneurs. “We are giving focus to the semiconductor sector and are in talks with companies in Belgium,” he pointed out.

    Shri Hibi Eden, MP, felicitating the KSUM, called upon the government to open innovation-promoting academic courses in the state. Infosys Co-founder Shri Kris Gopalakrishnan said the coming three decades hold a brighter path for young entrepreneurs compared to the past 30 years.

    Principal Secretary (Electronics & IT) Shri Biswanath Sinha, welcoming the gathering, said the government is charting a special scheme for startups that function outside the IT sector.“KSUM effectively charts the future of the youth in Kerala,” he added. Chief Secretary Dr V P Joy and KIIFB CEO Shri K M Abraham were present.

    KSUM Chief Executive Officer Shri John M. Thomas proposed thanks.

    The CoE at the Digital Hub aims to groom shelter-related ideas and innovations, and will function as a one-stop centre for all product-design and development activities for software and hardware components. These include all sectors and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality/virtual reality, internet of things and natural language processing.

    The Digital Hub comes at a time when Kerala is giving extra focus on building the end-to-end process from ideation stage to prototype stage of a product, capitalising on its unique combination of assets. The coastal state, with its logistical and maritime advantage, has a rich talent in engineering design, a Digital Fabrication Network, a Super Fablab and a hardware incubator named Maker Village, besides small-scale manufacturing clusters, industrial corridors and maker communities.
      
    TIZ is being established in a 13.2-acre land at KINFRA Hitech Park in Kalamassery, envisioning a one-stop destination for technology innovation that encapsulates everything from the consolidation of the idea, to its incubation, acceleration and to mentor support to set up an enterprise and even a squadron of angel investors ready to invest in a bankable idea. The Zone has a total built-up area of 4 lakh sq ft. Currently its first phase is operational with two buildings: Integrated Startup Complex (ISC) and Biotechnology Incubation Centre, with an overall built-up area of 2.3 lakh sq ft.

    KSUM, as the state’s 2006-founded nodal agency for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities, has been primarily designated to establish and operate the TIZ as a global innovation incubator hub for various technology sectors. The Zone comprises Incubators, Accelerators, built-up start-up modules, COEs, high-end fabrication labs, R&D lab facilities, office spaces and amphitheatre among other facilities.

  • Kerala Tourism to spread Arteria fresco works to other districts Minister

    The Kerala government will consider beautifying city spaces in all districts by bringing them under the purview of the “Arteria Fresco project” whose third phase is under implementation in the capital city, Tourism Minister Shri P.A. Mohamed Riyas said today.

    He was speaking to mediapersons after monitoring the artwork at the Palayam Underpass in the state capital. 

     “The idea is not just to deck up the looks of our cityscapes, but gift a positive energy to their visitors,” Mr Riyas added.

    The colourful images at the Palayam Underpass were being done as part of the 2015-initiated Arteria, which is a Tourism Department initiative that seeks to render the city walls with paintings by renowned artists.

    Being implemented in coordination with the District Tourism Promotion Council, Arteria has been seeing the conversion of walls and fences of public, private and cooperative ownership into canvases of artistic creativity in the past six years. 

    The project’s first two phases (in 2015 and ’16) envisaged 25-odd paintings by as many renowned artists, gaining the vitality to change the face of the historical city. Arteria succeeded in completing a work by the renowned K.G. Subramanyan (1924-2016) without the supervision of the Kerala-born master.

    In January this year, the paintings under Arteria were brightened up after the works had dulled amid the rainy spells and summer seasons in the past half a decade.

    Currently, a third phase (2021) of Arteria plans murals along Akkulam bypass at Kuzhivila Junction, St Joseph’s School and the Museum besides at the 2005-completed Palayam Underpass.

    The current 3rd phase of the project features around 20 graffiti artists, and their team members from across the state.

  • Encouraging response to Kerala Tourisms global Onam Pookkalam contest

    Kerala Tourism’s Global Pookkalam contest is receiving warm response from within the country and abroad, as hordes of Malayalis are registering for the online event on floral decoration which is the highlight of Onam.

    The government is hosting the virtual competition, titled ‘Viswa Manavikathayude Loka Ona Pookkalam’, in the backdrop of Covid-19 that has forced Malayalis to remain indoor and celebrate the harvest festival. Kerala Tourism is also readying a comprehensive video programme featuring folk arts by the state’s performers who are in financial difficulties owing to the pandemic. The 15-minute clips will be beamed online through audio-visual and social media.

    Tourism Minister Shri P.A. Mohamed Riyas said the international Pookalam contest gives a common platform to both Malayali diaspora who are unable to visit Onam-time Kerala and Keralites who miss their opportunity for social get-togethers this year owing to Covid-19 conditions. “The theme of the event sends across the Onam message of unity and fraternity,” he noted. “Usually, expatriate Malayalis celebrate this festival along with fellow members of their associations. This time, the Pookalam contest facilitates them to celebrate Onam with all Malayalis across the globe,” he added.

    The Minister has made a worldwide appeal for massive involvement in the contest. Following this, NORKA Roots (the field agency of the state’s Department of Non-Resident Keralite’s Affairs) held an online meeting and exhorted Malayalis across the globe to participate in the Pookkalam competition.

    Individuals, organisations/associations can vie for honours. There is no fee. Registrations are on at https://www.keralatourism.org/contest/pookkalam2021, where the Pookkalam image can be uploaded till August 23 midnight.

    The identification number, received on registration, must be shown below the Pookkalam. The image file should be in .jpg format and with a resolution between 1 MB and 5 MB. This image file, along with the picture of the pertinent individual/organization/association, should be uploaded on to the website. Also, a brief description about the Pookkalam must be given.

    The jury under the Department of Tourism will evaluate the Pookkalams and select 100 from among them. They will be uploaded onto the website of the department.

    The contestants will be awarded first, second and third prizes in two categories: individual and organization/association. There will be ten consolation prizes. Also, all participants will be given a special Onam gift. All contestants can download from the website their certificate of participation.
    As for performing arts, 65 video clips of performances of local artistes in different art forms, each with 15-minute duration, will be streamed through the state’s television channels and FM stations besides social-media platforms. The initiative seeks to rejuvenate artists sitting largely idle in Covid-19 times. The participants can also share the videos over Kerala Tourism’s YouTube channel and social-media pages.

  • KIMS HEALTH EAST Gets IGBC’s Prestigious Green Platinum Certification

    KIMSHEALTH EAST has won the Platinum certification under the Green Building New Construction programme of the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). As per IGBC, this the first project in Kerala to receive this honour and the only hospital to achieve the top-most rating in South India under this category.

    The IGBCaward is a recognition of the hospital’s commitment to eco-sustainability which was planned during the design and construction of its new 270-bed KIMSHEALTH EAST, said its Group Chairman and Managing Director Dr. M I Sahadulla.“The laurel shows our concern for green initiatives,” he added, revealing that the new 4.5-lakh sq ft facility was constructed over the past two years.

    With its farsighted approach, KIMSHEALTH has always chosen to implement Green Building Certification programmes in all its constructions. Its KIMS Kollam Multispecialty Hospital venture had bagged the Green Gold certification in 2018.

    “The objective is to be environmentally responsible and ensure enhanced sustainable performance,” Dr Sahadulla noted.

    Sustainable features include high-efficient lighting fixtures meeting international standards such as high-performance water-cooled screw-chillers, CPM (central plant manager) to ensure overall plant room efficiency and highest ventilation features meeting ASHRAE (The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers)170 published post-COVID norms, besides freshair ventilation through heat-recovery wheels, recycling of STP water by MBR (membrane bioreactor) methodology and operating rooms having filters with CG technology that ensures lowest germs count, said Mr. Biju S A, General Manager (Projects), KIMSHEALTH.

    Further, the yardsticks require a state-of-the-art command centre to improve patient experience besides efficient building envelope with glass façade that lets light in but guards against the heat inside.“This is especially vital in a humid place that is Kerala,”he pointed out.

    KIMSHEALTH joined hands with JLL(India), STAT(MEP Consultants) and KGD(Architects) in achieving the IGBC’s platinum rating.

  • Mission Possible Save Environment

    Two Rotaractors  from Rotaract Club of Shishu Mandir ,
    Dhanush M., son of Manjunath  from Kadugodi and  Hemanth Y.B, son of     Bhujangashayana  from Yadagondanahalli      are attempting for Guinness Book of World Record by cycling 24000+Kms in 180 days covering 29 states & 3 Union Territories. This will be the longest Journey by bicycle in a single country.

    The message they would be carrying is about global warming and Literacy. They shall try and meet the locals and schools on their journey and educate them about Global warming (Rotary’s newest area of focus : Protecting the Environment) and also create awareness on literacy (Basic Literacy, schooling and Adult Literacy).
    This event is sponsored by Rotary Bangalore Whitefield Central (Dist.3190) in association with International Fellowship of Cycling Rotarians (Dist.3190),  Shishu Mandir Education Center, Maithri Aqautech Pvt Ltd, and Dr. Durga Prasad Reddy (Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Bangalore)
    The ride was flagged-off on 11th July from Vidhan Soudha, Bangalore by District Governor 3190 Rtn Fazal Mahmood

Tourism Minister dedicates Air Force Museum at Akkulam Tourist Village

Rs 1.97 cr-project set up with technical support of Indian Air Force
Tourism Minister Shri P A Mohamed Riyas inaugurated the Flight Simulator Museum (Air Force Museum) set up by the Department of Tourism with the technical support of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Akkulam Tourist Village here, coinciding with the 89th Foundation Day of IAF.

The museum, which takes the visitors through a simulated flight experience and has several other riveting features, has been built at a cost of Rs 1.97 crore.

“This project will be beneficial not only for Akkulam and the capital district but for entire Kerala Tourism. The museum gives an opportunity to know more about Indian Air Force. The aircraft-model museum and the flight engine will be a novel experience for visitors,” Shri Riyas said in his address.

Kerala Tourism had opened a new front that offers immense possibilities through the Caravan policy announced recently. The caravan parks will generate a lot of employment for local people. The Government will extend all support like quick approvals for electricity connection for setting up caravan parks. Caravan Tourism will also provide plenty of opportunities for local artistes to perform before tourists, earn income and sustain the art forms, Shri Riyas said. 

Air Marshal J Chalapati, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Air Command (SAC), IAF, was the Chief Guest on the occasion. 

In his address, Air Marshal Chalapati said, “the idea of setting up such a museum was mooted in 2018 and we got the nod from the government to go ahead with it in 2019. Kerala Tourism, which funded the project, was instrumental in the speedy execution of the project and it was completed in record time.” 

“We have two objectives in establishing the museum. One is to make it highly attractive to visitors and the second is to motivate the youth of Kerala to join IAF. The flight simulator installed here will give a realistic experience for all,” he added.

The Air Force Museum project was conceived by Kerala Tourism in collaboration with Southern Air Command of IAF, whose headquarters is located close to the tourist village, to create awareness among the visitors about IAF and importance of national security.

Shri Kadakampally Surendran, MLA, who presided over the function, said, “For the conservation of Akkulam Lake, Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) has given in-principle sanction for Rs 185.23 crore. Of the total budget, KIIFB has already given approval for Rs 64.13 crore. But the implementation of the complete project needs another Rs 96 crore, for which we are awaiting KIIFB’s approval.”  

The museum was completed in two phases. In the first phase, around Rs 98 lakh was spent for landscaping and creating flight model structure. In the second phase, administrative sanction for Rs 99 lakh was given for the construction of museum interior and other related works.  

The two-floor aircraft-model museum has all the most modern facilities. A flight cockpit model with simulator and rest room facilities have been set up on the ground floor. The top floor has a Motivation Room for giving inspiration to visitors, photographs depicting the glorious history of IAF and an exhibition of IAF machinery.   

Shri V R Krishna Teja, Director, Tourism, Kerala, in his welcome address, said the development of Akkulam Tourist Village is an important project for Kerala Tourism. The Air Force Museum is a key feature of the ambitious project being implemented by Kerala Tourism in the capital, he added. Ms Arya Rajendran, Mayor, Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, said the Corporation would support all ventures like this in the tourism sector. She emphasised the need to maintain the museum and its surroundings properly for the promotion of tourism in the capital region.

Department of Tourism Joint Director Shri Shahul Hameed proposed a vote of thanks.

Air Vice Marshal D.V. Wani, SAC, IAF; Air Vice Marshal B.N. Kumar; Air Commodore J Jayachandran; and Ward Councillor Shri Suresh Kumar. S, were also present. 

A total of Rs 9.34 crore has been spent for creating the musical fountain, renovation of artificial waterfall, coffeeshop, bicycle track, renovation of swimming pool, children’s park and sports equipment at the Tourist Village. 

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Kerala announces comprehensive Caravan Tourism policy

Caravan Tourism: Next big thing for Kerala Tourism after  houseboats in three decades

Rising to the demands and preferences of tourists in the post-pandemic world, Kerala announced a comprehensive, stakeholder-friendly Caravan Tourism Policy, promising the visitors a safe, customized, and closest-to-nature travel experience.

“This marks a paradigm shift in almost three decades after the state made it big with houseboat tourism that provided a unique experience to visitors and positioned the state as a major global destination,” Tourism Minister  P A Mohamed Riyas said while unveiling the policy which offers attractive investment subsidy to Caravan operators.

“Like other successful tourism products of Kerala launched since 1990s, Caravan Tourism is also to be developed on PPP mode with private investors, tour operators and local communities being key stakeholders,” Shri Riyas said at a press conference

He said investment subsidy would be given to Caravan operators, the details of which would be announced soon.

“The policy envisages laying down the broad framework for the development and encouragement of Caravan Tourism in Kerala, predominantly in the private sector through incentivizing the purchase of caravans and for establishing caravan parks, chalking out the process and procedures for its operations and approvals”, the Minister added.

On this occasion,  Riyas also unveiled the logo of Caravan Tourism. The project will be rolled out in the next few months.

“Caravan Tourism imparts an added thrust to the State’s inclusive approach of leveraging the tourism potential of the entire state by bringing to attention many an unexplored spot side-by-side the promotion of established destinations. Every unexplored destination can be made accessible with the rollout of this meticulously drawn-up policy,” said Dr. Venu V, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism.

The two major components of this activity are Tourism Caravans and Caravan Parks. While the first involves specially-built vehicles for travel, leisure, and stay, the Caravan Parks are designated places to park the vehicles and enable the visitors to spend a night or a day or station for an extended period to explore the destination.

Caravan Tourism will also promote Responsible Tourism activities for sustainable growth and for the benefit of the local communities, promote eco-friendly practices, and market for local products.

“Going by Kerala’s inherent strengths of natural beauty and tourism-friendly -culture, Caravan Tourism has immense scope for the state. Besides offering a

refreshing experience for the tourists, local communities stand to gain substantially by enabling them to showcase their culture and products before

the visitors”, said  V R Krishna Teja, Director, Tourism.

There will be two types of caravans. In one model, two guests shall be accommodated, while the other is for a family of four members.   

The tourism caravans will have all the necessary facilities for a comfortable stay such as sofa-cum-bed, kitchenette with fridge and microwave oven, dining table, toilet cubicle, partition behind the driver, Air-conditioner, internet connectivity, audio-video facilities, charging system, and GPS.
Eco-friendliness being a major feature of Caravan Tourism, preferably Bharat Stage VI compliant vehicles will be pressed into service. Assuring complete security of the guests, there will be IT-enabled real-time monitoring of caravans.

A fool-proof approval mechanism is also put in place for according approval for the operation of caravans based on the procedures set by the State Motor Vehicles Department in accordance with the Central Motor Vehicles Rules.

The caravan parks are to be developed in the private sector, public sector, or in the joint sector. The configuration of parks will vary from location to location, even though the fundamental attributes remain the same. 

A caravan park will be a completely safe and secure zone offering a hassle-free and stress-free environment to tourists, protected with necessary features like a compound wall, adequate security, and safety arrangements, patrolling, and surveillance cameras. The Park authorities will maintain effective coordination with local authorities and medical establishments to attend to medical emergencies.

The minimum land required for a park will be 50 cents, with at least 5 parking bays. The park design should be compatible with its surroundings, causing the least possible disturbance to the site. Landscaping and plantation have to be planned to ensure privacy, green cover and take into account such factors as wind, dust, and noise.

The parks in hilly and ecologically fragile areas will have to incorporate creative architecture in conformity with local heritage. The parks should have proper water harvesting structures. There should be strategically located open space for recreation, a forecourt, drive-in area, and turning circles. The parks will have Tourist Facilitation Centres to inform the visitors of amenities and services available.

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Luxury cruise from Mumbai reaching Kochi with 1,200 tourists

Berthing of MV Empress to mark revival of domestic tourism

Signalling the re-opening of the pandemic-hit tourism sector in Kerala for upcountry visitors, a luxury cruise from Mumbai with 1,200 travellers on board is reaching Kochi tomorrow (September 22). 
The luxury liner MV Empress, owned by Cordelia Cruises, will anchor at Cochin Port, Willingdon Island, at 5 am.  
Around 800 guests on the ship, hailing from various states, will disembark at Kochi to explore a slice of the rich culture and history of the port city, in an on-shore tour adhering to Covid-19 protocols. 
The tourists will be taken to Mattancherry and Fort Kochi, touching several points of historical importance for which the area is famed. A boat ride on the backwaters will unfold the mesmerising beauty of the ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’ before the visitors.  
Kerala Tourism Minister Shri P A Mohamed Riyas said, “The arrival of domestic tourists marks a promising start to the full-scale resumption of Kerala Tourism, overcoming the pandemic-induced crisis. This trend is set to gain pace in the coming days. “ 
“Kerala is a safe and secure place for the lock-down weary vacationers to come as we have put in place an efficient and meticulous bio-bubble model to create protective layers of inoculated service providers to receive and host tourists,” the Minister added.
Dr Venu V, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism, said, “Tourism sector in Kerala is fast reconfiguring itself from the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. All destinations across the state are getting ready to receive guests. We are looking forward to a busy season ahead.”
Shri V R Krishna Teja, Director, Tourism, said, tourism activities in Kerala is regaining its full pace. The recently announced visitor and stakeholder friendly Caravan Tourism policy will expedite the process.       
The cruise ship will leave for Kadamat, the Lakshadweep, in the afternoon . Voyager Kerala is the tour agent of the Kochi sight-seeing of the trip.

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High demand from International Travel Exhibitors and Sponsors sets tone for ITB Asia 2021 Virtual

Welcoming Elite Partners - Berlin Brandenburg Airport and Saudi Tourism Authority
Asia’s Largest Travel Trade Show with over 900 buyers expected to be in attendance for the 5 days all-virtual show co-located with MICE Show Asia and Travel Tech Asia

Singapore, 15 September 2021 – The countdown to ITB Asia Virtual 2021 has begun. The show, which takes place from 25 – 29 October 2021 virtually, is seeing a high demand from tourism organisations and partners. As the tourism industry shows promising signs of recovery, the event sees increasing uptake of travel trade buyer registrations, as more trade professionals are looking to explore business opportunities and to connect with travel trade suppliers and partners.

Elite Partners Announced

For the first time, Berlin Brandenburg Airport and Saudi Tourism Authority are announced as Elite Partner of this year’s ITB Asia 2021 Virtual, Asia’s leading travel trade show. As Elite Partners, both organisations will be represented at ITB Asia 2021 Virtual with several session including live webinars exclusively curated for the Asian travel trade market and a welcome speech. Digital visitors will be able to connect with the partners via live chat functions during their session(s).

Strong Tourism Organisation participation for 2021

The premier meeting place for the travel trade industry, ITB Asia is seeing strong participations from the National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) like Azerbaijan Tourism Board, Japan National Tourism Organisation, Maldives Marketing Tourism Promotion, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia, Saudi Tourism Authority, Singapore Tourism Board, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Tourism Promotions Board Philippines and Visit Scotland.

In addition to the NTOs, the show welcomes other key Tourism Organisations including Busan Tourism Organisation, Business Events Perth, Jeju Convention & Visitors Bureau, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Penang Global Tourism, Sabah Tourism Board, Saint Petersburg Convention Bureau, Sapporo Convention Bureau, Sarawak Tourism Board, Shibuya Convention Bureau, Suruga Marketing & Tourism Bureau, Visit Iseshima Bureau, Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau and Zagreb Tourist Board.

Participating Tourism Organisations will be showcasing their latest products and services for the travel industry. A number of them will be sharing key insights and presenting travel trends in the conference of ITB Asia 2021 Virtual. The tourism organisations, with their co-exhibitors will be available online to network with virtual trade visitors and buyers.  Attendees can also conduct virtual business appointments via social video and messaging functions. (From 25 – 29 October, 5 full days)

Exhibiting hotels and resorts at ITB Asia 2021 Virtual

Among this year’s exhibiting hotels and resorts at ITB Asia 2021 Virtual are Best Western Hotels & Resorts Asia, Far East Hospitality, Frasers Hospitality, Meliá Hotels International, Park Hotel Group, WorldHotels Collection, Worldwide Hotels and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

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