TTT NEWS NETWORK
KOLKATA, 17 NOVEMBER 2023:
Kerala will draft a comprehensive ‘Mission 2030’ masterplan that aims to raise the state’s GDP out of its travel and hospitality sector to20 percent from the present 12 per cent said Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas.
A detailed blueprint of the project will be published early next year, he said at theTourismInvestors Meet (TIM) that rolled out investment opportunities to business leadersandstakeholders from within the country and abroad.
“We need to attract private investment in a big way to make full use of our tourismresources. For this, we have been locating destinations that merit development, and permit private entrepreneurs to initiate projects there,” the Minister noted, chairing the inaugural session of the day-long event which was inaugurated by Chief Minister, Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan.
Revealing that the projects under Mission 2030 will adhere to the sustainable development goals, eco conservation and responsible tourism, Shri Riyas said the government will catalyse public-private partnerships, enhance subsidies and provide grants.
The Minister, while pointing out the need to modernize and enhance the tourismsectorintune with current demands and preferences, said the ongoing roadwork for asix-lane national highway from Kasaragod down to Thiruvananthapuram will be completedby2025. “Also, an arterial road across nine of the state’s coastal districts is getting over. This will enable tourism centres in every 50 kilometres along our beautiful coastal stretches,” hesaid. “Further, Kerala is laying a hill highway (SH-59), which is towards its final stage. All this will boost our tourism prospects.”
Citing the need for the tourism sector to change in tune with the current trends, Mr. Riyas called upon investors to join the government’s efforts towards making Kerala attractive for travellers round the year. A single-window system will soon be implemented for prompt clearance of tourism projects by giving quick permission and licence to entrepreneurs.
While Kerala’s travel and hospitality industry has been a subject of study for the rest of theworld, the state’s responsible tourism initiative has served as a model for replication else where, the Minister added.
Kerala Chief Secretary Dr V. Venu, while lauding the Tourism Minister’s diligence to host TIM in a short period for preparation, said the conclave is an exemplary effort to showcase Kerala’s eminence as a travel destination before the rest of the world. “Stiff targets can speed up big initiatives and this is one instance,” he noted, welcoming the gathering at Hyatt Regency.
Earlier, in the introductory session Tourism and PWD Secretary, Mr. K. Biju said Kerala has by far used only five per cent of its potential in the travel and hospitality industry. “Investment in ideas is as important as financial capital,” he said, pointing out KIM’sroleinpresenting tourism ideas before potential investors and working as a platformfor them to associate with local entrepreneurs.
Kerala Tourism Director , Mr. S. Prem Krishnan, Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Ltd Chairman, Mr. S.K. Sajeesh and Managing Director Dr Manoj Kumar K also spoke.
The session also featured speeches by a line-up of top industrialists, who extended support to Kerala’s tourism initiatives.
Malabar Group of Companies Chairman , Mr. M.P. Ahammed said Kerala maintainsaninvestment-friendly climate, while Kalyan Silks Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. T.S. Pattabhiraman noted that the state no more poses obstructions towards industrial promotion.
Infosys former CEO , Mr. S.D. Shibulal hailed Kerala for its adherence to green tourism, while Gokulam Group of Companies Chairman, Mr. Gokulam Gopalan particularly lauded the government for quick clearance of investment proposals. Boby Group of Companies Chairman, Dr Boby Chemmanur spoke of Kerala’s novel tourism products gaining increasing appreciation.
The Tourism Department will consolidate the outcome of the TIM deliberations and business meets for time-bound follow-up action. For this, a dedicated facilitation centre will be set up.