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Kerala Unveils Safety and Security Norms for Adventure Tourism

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society (KATPS) , under the State Tourism Department, has drawn up a set of comprehensive safety and security regulations to position the state as a prime safe and hassle-free destination for adventure-loving holidaymakers and nature buffs.

Giving an added thrust to this key segment, Kerala Tourism is also introducing a registration system for organisations and individuals engaged in promoting adventure tourism activities. Minister for Co-operation, Tourism and Devaswom Kadakampally Surendran will formally launch both these initiatives at a function at the Symphony Hall at Mascot Hotel on February 17 (Monday), at 10 am.

V K Prashanth MLA, Rani George, Secretary Tourism, P Bala Kiran, Director Tourism, Krishna Teja, MD KTDC, D K Vinod Kumar IFS, Director Eco Tourism, and Manesh Bhaskar, CEO KATPS, will be present on the occasion.

Blessed with an alluring mix of all that nature can offer, Kerala has, of late, emerged as a major adventure tourism centre. With its 580-km long coastal stretch, 44 rivers, mostly flowing down from the Western Ghats, dense forests which are home to a wide range of plants and wildlife and steep green-capped hills, Kerala holds a tempting choice of activities sightseers look forward.

The State Tourism Policy has marked adventure tourism as a highly promising segment, and made a set of suggestions such as identifying adventure hotspots, development of adventure parks and encouraging the stake-holders. Kerala Tourism is committed to promote this segment in a sustainable fashion without compromising the safety and security of visitors. It is with this intention that a set of safety and security regulations are being introduced for the steady growth of the segment.

These norms were evolved by an Experts Committee, which mostly focused on 31 adventure tourism activities, giving special attention to the physical features of the state. While doing this, the panel had also taken into consideration the Adventure Tourism Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

The set of norms suggested by the panel was endorsed by the Government last year, following which a Government Order was issued to give effect to it. These norms seek to tap the state’s entire possibilities in land, water and air-borne adventure activities. Adventure tourism promotion agencies and individuals will be able to take up activities to give further boost to this vital sector based on these regulations.

The registration system seeks to enhance the role of stake-holders in adventure tourism. The facility will be extended to organisations and individuals based on examination of their profile and activities by a committee comprising officials of the Tourism Departments and subject experts.

The committee will take into account such factors as the experience and qualification of the applicant, quality of equipment used for activities, knowledge in First Aid, insurance coverage of employees and crew deployed and the ability to make the participants aware of the possible risks involved.

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