The Kerala government will soon unveil its new tourism policy with special focus on a ‘green carpet’ initiative, aimed at transforming holiday destinations into clean and hygienic surroundings with local partnership. Announcing this at a meet-the-press programme here, Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said steps are on to make the tourist destinations ‘plastic-free’ and ‘differently abled-friendly’. “The LDF government is yet to announce its new tourism policy. It will be announced soon with focus on green carpet initiative. Our aim is to implement responsible tourism in the state,” he said. The green carpet initiative is aimed at building a sustainable destination management system in Kerala through participation and partnerships. The initiative is aimed at transforming destinations into better places for people to visit and live in. “We are envisaging the green carpet initiative as a comprehensive awareness campaign. It is aimed at keeping tourist destinations clean with the support of local people and village panchayats,” he said.
The minister also expressed hope that the new liquor policy of the state government would help increase foreign tourist arrivals to the state and would again make Kerala a sought after destination of meetings and conferences. “The previous UDF government’s decision to close down liquor bars had adversely affected the state tourism sector,” he said. It had resulted in the fall of arrival of foreign tourists, the minister said, adding, several conferences, to be held in the state, had also been cancelled. Asked about job creation in the tourism sector, Surendran said the LDF government aimed at creating at least 80,000 jobs in the next two years.