Published on : Monday, August 19, 2019
The visitors reaching Kottayam to experience its rural life are soon set to move beyond the activities in its coastal backwaters to the plantation life on its highlands. The tourism sector in Kottayam, which is by and large focused on the backwater destinations of Kumarakom and Vaikom, looks to turn around its fortunes after the recent floods.
The Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission under the Kerala government has come up with a series of initiatives to expand the scope of its village tourism activities in the region.
The new village tourism programme envisages taking the visitors to the life in the rubber heartland by organising guided tours to the plantations in the Kanjirappally and Erattupetta regions combined with a visit to any of the micro destinations on the Western Ghats Mountaion Range such as Illikkal Kallu or Ilaveezhapoonchira.
The packages, according to RT officials, are designed to help the tourists interact with the farmers and labourers in these plantations and learn about their daily life, techniques in extracting and processing the precious glue, among other things. Besides rubber, these visits will also cover the wide band of nutmeg and tapioca plantations in the adjoining areas.
Roopesh Kumar, coordinator, RT Mission said that while the accommodation facility for visitors to Kottayam are predominantly located in its backwater region, these packages are also expected to extend their stay at these locations.
According to him, the Responsible Tourism Mission has already identified several micro destinations on its hillside to combine with these packages, which will be rolled out from September when this year’s season begins. The new packages are being implemented through a fleet of community tour leaders and tourism resource persons, trained by the agency. The moderate weather prevailing in these hills coupled with tropical greenery make these foothills of the Western Ghats Mountain Range a perfect destination for day-visits.
Alongside the plantation visits, the RT Mission has also come up with a host of other innovative packages that will help the visitors learn about the local rituals, flora and fauna, among others.
These include bicycle trips, visits to the sacred groves and select pilgrim centres and the green zones to be developed using the ‘miyawaki method’, among others.