(Meeting of Tourism, Education ministers decides to draw up guidelines)
TTT NEWS NETWORK
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, 1 FEBRUARY 2024:
Taking cue from the success of Tourism Clubs on college campuses across the state, the initiative will be extended to the higher secondary level as well to scale up youth participation in a range of tourism- related activities.
A joint meeting of Tourism Minister, Mr. P A Mohamed Riyas and General Education Minister, Mr. V Sivankutty on Monday decided to set up a high-level official panel to draw up the guidelines for forming tourism clubs in higher secondary institutions.
To start with, the clubs will take up various activities in 25 destinations like receiving tourists, giving them information about the place they are visiting and ensuring that green protocols are followed in the upkeep of the destinations.
The clubs will also organise art and cultural events to enhance the experience for the visitors. The club members will also seek feedback from the visitors and in case they faced any hassles that will be brought to the notice of authorities concerned.
“Tourism clubs in college campuses have shown that youth could effectively intervene in improving the quality of tourism and proper upkeep of assets. Extension of the programme to the higher secondary level will help scale up this unique initiative,”Mr. Riyas said.
The intervention of campus tourism club members in Aakkulam Tourist village in the state capital has created a model worth emulating in other places. Important works that would have incurred a big budget were taken up and completed by the tourism club members at lesser cost. Their intervention also saw strict adherence to green protocols and showed how well the entire place could be kept, the Minister said.
Destination guides from the clubs set a high bench mark in receiving and guiding tourists. This successful model will be extended to many other places across the state, Mr. Riyas said.
Tourism clubs also help students earn some money without compromising on their academic pursuits. In Aakkulam alone, as many as 15 students work as part-time guides. The clubs also took initiative towards entrepreneurial development by organising workshops on the scope of startups in tourism sector.
“Within a short span, this idea has proved to be an upfront initiative in grooming the youth to benefit from immense opportunities awaiting them in the tourism sector,” Mr. Riyas added.