Kozhikode: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan presented the State Tourism Awards for 2014-15 underlining the need for connecting Kerala’s heritage and culture to the tourism sector.
Speaking at the event held in Kozhikode on Sunday, he said “International and domestic tourists should get the experience of Kerala products, heritage and culture to enhance the sector. And this can be achieved only by connecting Kerala’s traditional industries with the sector. Tourism is a gateway to take the state’s history to the world map,” said the Chief Minister while delivering the inaugural address of the Sargaalayaa International Arts and Crafts Festival at Iringal here.
He also said that the revamped Kozhikode Airport and the Kannur Airport, which will start its functioning soon, will boost tourism in the Malabar area.
A high powered committee under the chairmanship of Tourism Principal Secretary Dr Venu V picked 27 winners under three categories for the tourism awards.
Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, who presided over the event, said that the state tourism sector targets to create 4 lakh jobs in next five years.
“With many innovative initiatives, Kerala has already grabbed a space on the world tourism map. The government is planning to identify and develop 79 new destinations in the state apart from creating more model tourism villages. This will be with the help of the cooperative sector,” said the Tourism Minister.
Excise and Labour Minister Shri T P Ramakrishnan delivered the keynote address at the ceremony.