MoU signed with Kerala to develop tourism

| | Bhopal
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MoU signed with Kerala to develop tourism

Thursday, 14 January 2021 | Staff Reporter | Bhopal

Kerala’s famed Responsible Tourism (RT) found another State officially emulating the pioneering initiative, as Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kerala for implementation of the Kerala model, which involves local communities and makes tourism a tool for rural development. The programme held at Thiruvananthapuram.

The two states signed a joint declaration under which Kerala will extend a series of services under a 16-point programme. The MoUs were exchanged at a ceremony by the state’s Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran and Madhya Pradesh counterpart Usha Thakur.  Surendran said that Responsible Tourism is the “only tool for sustainable development of tourism” as it creates better places for people to live in and visit. “RT takes the responsibility of the economic well-being of society. It ensures social and cultural stability besides environmental protection,” he noted, terming the pact with Madhya Pradesh as “another milestone” for Kerala Tourism and its RT Mission.

Surendran said Kerala did not have a practical model to follow or replicate when it launched RT. Today, the Mission has more than 20,000 units comprising small-scale entrepreneurs, artists, craftspeople, traditional workers, farmers and other service providers. “They are local communities at the grassroots, linked directly or indirectly with tourism,” he added.

“The RT Mission’s projects earned Kerala’s tourist map several micro destinations. It has, during its function since October 2017, generated an income of Rs 35 crores amid disruptions owing to Nipah, two floods and now Covid -19.”

Ms Thakur said she was overwhelmed by the way the tradition, culture and heritage of Kerala is being preserved here. She pointed out that with the help of RT Mission of Kerala, the rustic beauty, life and heritage of Madhya Pradesh could be highlighted on the world tourism map. 

“There are several tribes like Bhil, Sahariya and Gond living in our state, and we want to showcase their traditional value, attire and food habits to the entire country and outside word with Kerala’s assistance.  India is a country of villages and its soul lies in the villages. We want to show it to the world with your cooperation, she added.” Kerala RT Mission coordinator K Rupeshkumar said Madhya Pradesh can become a champion in RT sector with the support of Kerala, which has already set a model in RT in the world.

In the next one week, a 13-member team from Bhopal, led by Minister Thakur will tour different parts of Kerala to gather first-hand knowledge about RT in the state.  Today’s MoU entrusts Kerala RT Mission with the task of implementing RT projects in Madhya Pradesh in ways that suit that state.

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