Known as God’s own country, Indian state Kerala, for the first time, has won the prestigious Ulysses Prize from United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) for its tourism project at Kumarakom and for bringing in excellence and innovation in the sector.
The prizes were announced in Madrid, Spain and Kerala’s Kumarakom project won the prize in the category “Innovation in Public Policy and Governance”. The prizes were conceived to honour innovation, policy making and information dissemination the field of global tourism.
The Kerala government official attributed the success to locals, communities, self help groups and business in the tourism sector who coordinated and cooperated well to make the project a success.
Under Kumarakom project, the locals, including vendors, farmers and small business were supplying their farm produce to the thirteen hotels and resorts in the area for their daily use.
Speaking at the function, UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai said, “Tourism is increasingly becoming a transformative force, bringing in economic growth, creating jobs, and most importantly, changing people’s lives.”
“We are humbled by the UNWTO’s decision to confer this highest international award on our state,” said Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar.
It must also be noted that tourism management has also become a specialised field for tourist spots, and there have been demands in India to stress on the need of having a system where the numbers of tourists coming in the country are managed considering the effects of climate change on the ecology and flora & fauna of India. It must be hoped with this award India lays greater emphasis on responsible and innovative tourism in the country.