Kerala’s RT Mission wins international awards

Adding yet another feather to its cap, Kerala Tourism’s Responsible Tourism initiative has won four gold medals at the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) Indian Subcontinent Awards.

The RT Mission won the top honours in plastic waste elimination, water conservation (under the Water STREET project), diversification in the tourism sector, and revival of post-COVID tourism.

“With this, Kerala has qualified for the World Tourism Market awards in the four RT categories,” Kerala Tourism Minister P.A. Mohammed Riyas said while hailing the Mission’s contributions as a model to the participatory tourism initiatives in the country.

“Efforts are on to develop more people-friendly tourism initiatives,” he noted.

Kerala RT Mission State Coordinator K Rupeshkumar received the awards, instituted by the Madhya Pradesh government and the UK-based ICTR International, from MP Tourism Minister Usha Thakur at a function held in Bhopal the other day.

The award jury, headed by ICRT founder Dr. Harold Goodwin, lauded Kerala RT Mission's innovative project STREET (Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic Tourism) in ensuring people's participation aimed at grassroots development.

“The world can no more ignore the efforts of Kerala RT Mission towards green and sustainable tourism,” Godwin said.

The panel noted Kerala has consistently involved local administration bodies in the state's water conservation projects, catering to tourism promotion.

“The RT Mission's coordination with the state’s hotels and resorts in ending use-and-throw of plastic products won international attention. Kerala succeeded in curbing the use of plastic bottles with four-fifths of the RT Mission units avoiding their use besides ensuring the supply of non-plastic products to its accommodation units," the jury noted.

The ICRT jury also praised Kerala RT Mission for developing work-at-home videos through its units, besides a string of activities it carried out through local administration. "These include tourism resource mapping, village life, cultural-festival tour packages, and agri-tourism network that promotes farm tourism, besides the Experience Ethnic Cuisine Programme that serves regional food and dishes. Also, Kerala RT Mission is the country’s best example of women empowerment," the jury observed.

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