50 adventure tourism spots in Kerala to get a makeover

Thiruvananthapuram: Fifty major adventure tourism centres in the South Indian state of Kerala will be upgraded soon to meet national and global standards.

State Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said this while rolling out a set of comprehensive safety and security regulations to position the state as a prime secure and hassle-free destination for global adventure tourists. The ‘Kerala Adventure and Activities Based Tourism Safety and Security Regulation’ has set guidelines with respect to 31 land, water and air-based activities.

“The basic infrastructure in existing adventure tourism spots will be developed at the earliest. We’ll identify and develop new spots, promote public-private projects and create a circuit connecting adventure tourism centres,” he said, revealing the administration’s plans to develop ‘Adventure Tourism’ in the state.

'A proposal to set up adventure parks in all districts is under consideration, as per availability of land,” he said, adding Muzhappilangad (Thalassery), Kaapil (Varkala) and Vagamon (Idukki) will be designated as adventurous tourism centres.

Soft adventure parks have been set up at Veli, Kollam Asramam, Thenmala, Karlad in Wayand and Kottappuram. Paragliding activities will be started at Munnar soon. Besides, an Adventure Tourism Academy will be set up at Sasthampara near Thiruvananthapuram.

The minister, during the function held at the state capital on Monday evening, also launched an Online Accreditation Portal to provide registration for qualified Adventure Activity Providers (AAP), based on guidelines drawn up by the Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society (KATPS), under the state tourism department. The validity of registration is for two years.

Tourism Secretary Rani George, who presided over the function, observed that the state has all potential to emerge as a top adventure tourism destination.

“Approval has been given for commencing a training course in adventure tourism at the Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS) in association with private tour operator Muddy Boots,” she added.

The safety guidelines, formed by an expert committee, focus on essential parameters for activity providers like possession of proper license as per the state or central government norms, deployment of qualified personnel, including well-trained activity leaders with hands- on experience, use of quality equipment and knowledge of First Aid and safety and risk mitigation ability. The activities covered by the guidelines include trekking and mountaineering, jeep safaris, all-terrain vehicle tours, cycling, water skiing, scuba diving, kayaking and canoeing, water surfing and paragliding and hand gliding.

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