Thiruvananthapuram: The state-run Bekal Resorts Development Corporation (BRDC) has chalked out ambitious and novel schemes to tap the hitherto unexplored tourism potential of Kerala’s north Malabar region.
Having managed to facilitate setting up of scores of Small and Medium Industries Leveraging Experiential Tourism (SMiLE) ventures involving aspiring entrepreneurs to set up tourism related infrastructure facilities in potential localities fairly on a successful note, the BRDC has come forward to organize a three-day long ‘SMILE Ambassador Tour’ programme involving India’s frontline tourism operators from December 6.
The event is hosted mainly to introduce experiential tourism destinations and products typical to respective localities.
The FAM (familiarization) tour package is being primarily envisages to disseminate among participating stakeholders first hand information pertaining to 50 odd SMILE ventures managed by 93 entrepreneurs dotted in Kerala’s northern Kasaragod and Kannur districts.
While the first two days of the tour programme will mainly focus on tourism hotspots in Kasaragod, the last leg visit in Kannur on December 8 is envisaged to interact with potential stakeholders in the region.
The BRDC has decided to make visit to the Kannur International Airport terminal, all set to be dedicated to the nation on December 9, and plans to hold talks with the top officials of Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL) to solicit their support for connectivity development to facilitate smooth inflow of foreign and domestic tourists to the pristine landscape of north Malabar with an objective to turn the region as one of the most sought after tourism destinations.
BRDC has also planned an interactive meeting with investors associated with North Malabar Chamber of Commerce (NMCC) on December 8, as part of the initiative.
Incidentally, the Virtual Tour Guide (SMiLE VTG), launched by the BRDC recently to guide the tourists to the region can now be downloaded through Google Play store.
The facility that could be accessed through mobile app will prove handy for the aspiring tourists to accustom themselves with the relevant videos, minute details pertaining to places of historical significance, booking of accommodation facilities, reliable tips to link tourism destinations and SMILE ventures by aptly making use of Global Positioning System (GPS).
The audio-videos coexisted by textual material go by the latest trend of storytelling when it comes to providing information on the history, culture and specialties of every tourist location.
The digital brochures with videos on exclusives of north Malabar focusing on experiential products also being prepared as part of the novel initiative to illustrate the salient features typical to north Malabar region with a broad idea to showcase them as unique tourism products to lure even more tourists to the region round the year. The BRDC is on the course of shortly launching the project to introduce a host of fresh tourism products, which includes “suranga” (a traditional water conservation technology) unique to Kasaragod.
The BRDC’s innovative endeavor comes against the backdrop of 2017 report suggesting that the tourist inflow to the region is precariously lower despite making sustained efforts to streamline the situation. According to the report, the inflow of the international tourists to the region was put at 0.57 percentage while the tally of the domestic visitors is a mere 6.54 per cent in relation to the tourism destinations in southern districts of Kerala.