Travel and tourism is the only sector in the State that, despite having a severe setback due to the pandemic for two years, is capable of bouncing back so fast, said Minister for Ports and Museums Ahammad Devarkovil.
Inaugurating the Malabar Travel Meet in Kozhikode on Saturday, the Minister said that Kerala was in the best position to capitalise through tourism.
He said large-scale infrastructure development is happening in Kerala, which will boost the sector immensely, such as the National Highway widening, development of ports in Vizhinjam and Beypore, development of the National Waterway, and above all, the SilverLine Semi-High Speed Rail Project.
“We need to put Malabar as the best destination for economic medical tourism. We are known for top-class hospitality. We need to market it as well,” he said, adding that the State should also focus on better waste management to market itself.
Formally launching the Malabar Tourism Council, Mr. Devarkovil gave away the Tourism Business Leadership Award to N.K. Mohammed and the Most Inspiring Leader Award to Shail Mundakkal Mariam. He also honoured Yousuf V.V., a tour promoter with an experience of more than two decades, and 15-year-old Husna Mohammed, the youngest tour operator in the State. Advisory board member of the Council T.P.M. Hashir Ali said Mr. Devarkovil, a known tour operator who has sent thousands of people for Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages before he became a minister, was the best candidate to give away the awards.
The Travel Meet saw participation of service providers including hotels, resorts, and tour operators from different parts of the State, mostly from north Kerala. There were also operators from Finland, Malaysia, Maldives, and Sri Lanka. President of Malabar Tourism Council Sajeer Padikkal said the aim of the meet was to showcase the region, encourage tour operators from the State and others to explore the unexplored destinations in Malabar.
Representatives from 15 tourism associations in the region took part in the meet.