Kerala to become a fully women-friendly tourism destination

Kerala will soon have another feather in its cap. The South Indian state is set to become the country’s first fully women-friendly tourism destination.

“Kerala is on course to be a fully women-friendly tourism destination by implementing a comprehensive project to encourage the participation of women in all tourism activities and attract more women tourists to the state which already enjoys the reputation as the safest destination for women tourists,” Tourism Minister P A Mohammed Riyas said.

He was launching the state-level ‘Women-Friendly Tourism’ project, an initiative of the State Responsible Tourism Mission (RT Mission).

“Through this project, the RT Mission ensures safe and hygienic places and tourism destinations for women tourists. All-women tour packages, controlled and operated by women, including food, accommodation, transportation, and community guides, will be rolled out,” he said.

However, Riyas observed that the state needs a significant change at a time when the world is witnessing a sharp increase in instances of women undertaking solo trips and also in groups.

UN Women will sign an MoU with RT Mission regarding the gender-inclusive tourism. “Creating a safe, reliable, and hygienic infrastructure that addresses the needs of women is vital for implementing the project,” said Kanta Singh, Deputy Representative, UN Women, India.

State Co-ordinator of RT Mission K Rupeshkumar, who unveiled the project, said RT Mission has been implementing a series of schemes for women empowerment through tourism. Currently, around 80 percent of RT Mission units are led by women.

Through the project, the RT Mission aims to create a network of women’s units and tourism centers manned by women. Also, it will be ensured that the tourism destinations in the state are fulfilling the needs of women tourists.

As part of taking the initiative to all districts, RT Mission will provide training to selected women to work as tour coordinators, storytellers, community tour leaders, auto/taxi drivers (guest handling), homestay operators, and in various other sectors like souvenir creation. All basic infrastructure will be made available for the project, which will have a monthly evaluation process, led by the Tourism Minister.

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