THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, 11 JANUARY 2024:
Kerala will host four international events this year aimed at firmly putting the state on the global adventure tourism map, Tourism Minister , Mr. P A Mohamed Riyas said here today.
The tourism department has lined up international competitions in paragliding, surfing, mountain cycling and whitewater kayaking in some of its tourism hotspots.
Addressing a news conference here on Wednesday, the minister said the department had already finalised a calendar for this year’s competitions.
The ‘International Paragliding Competition 2024’, the first in the series of events this year, will be held from March 14 to 17 at Vagamon, Idukki.
“This is India’s largest aero sports adventure festival where more than 100 nationally and internationally renowned gliders will participate,” Mr. Riyas said.
“More than 15 countries have expressed interest in participating in the festival. Also, paragliding international champions and world-famous riders will be part of the event.”
The four-day fest will feature contestants from France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, the US, the UK, Nepal and the Indian states of Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Sikkim, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh.
Paragliding competitions will be held in Mini XC, Spot Landing at Top Landing Spot, Mini Acrobatics Show, Hike and Fly, Ground handling and Thermaling.
The event will be organised jointly by the Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society (KATPS) under the Department of Tourism and the Idukki District Tourism Promotion Council with the technical support of the Paragliding Association of India.
The International Surfing Festival at Varkala from March 29 to 31 will be the first national surfing championship this year.
Surfing athletes from India’s east and west coastal cities will compete in various categories.
“The event aims to make Kerala the premier surfing destination in India and promote the sport of surfing in the country,” Mr. Riyas said.
“The festival also aims to make Varkala, Kerala’s premier surfing destination, an internationally recognised surfing hotspot.”
The competitions will be held in SUP Technical Race, SUP Long Distance, SUP Sprint Race, Paddleboard Technical Race, Paddleboard Long Distance and SUP Surfing.
This event will be organised jointly by the International Surfing Association, KATPS and Thiruvananthapuram DTPC in collaboration with the Surfing Federation of India.
“It will also give an opportunity to the water sports lovers of the state to learn and practice the sport of surfing,” the minister added.
The 7th edition of the International Mountain Cycling Championship (MTB Kerala-2024), which has already put the state on the global competitive mountain cycling map, will be held from April 26 to 28 at Priyadarshini Tea Plantation, Mananthavady, Wayanad.
The five-kilometre-long track where the race takes place is situated at an altitude of 3000 feet.
The main attraction of the championship is the cross-country competition, which covers terrains like mud, rock and water. Cyclists from 25 countries are expected to participate in the championship.
Competitions for amateur cyclists from India will also be organised. The winners in this race will get an opportunity to compete with foreign star cyclists at the MTB Kerala International Competition.
MTB Kerala has also been included in the MTB Championship calendar of Union Cycliste International (UCI), the governing body of the sport of cycling based in Switzerland.
International Cross Country XCO (Elite Men), National Cross Country XCO (Elite Men), National Cross Country XCO (Elite Women), Intermediate Cross Country XCO (Elite Men) and Intermediate Cross Country XCO (Elite Women) are the competition categories.
The championship is organised by the Tourism Department under the aegis of KATPS, Wayanad DTPC and the Cycling Federation of India.
The 10th edition of the Malabar River Festival, famous for its organisational excellence and spectator participation, will be held from July 25 to 28.
The competition categories in this event on the Chalipuzha and Iruvanjippuzha rivers are kayak slalom, boater cross and downriver competition categories.
KATPS, Kozhikode DTPC, Kozhikode District Panchayat and the Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association will jointly organise the International Whitewater Kayaking Championship.
Tourism Secretary K Biju and KATPS CEO Binu Kuriakose also attended the news conference.