Kerala Tourism unveils roadmap for tourism clubs on campuses

Image Credit: shutterstock/Andrii Bezvershenko

Thiruvananthapuram: In an upfront initiative to ensure active participation of students in sustainable and inclusive tourism development, Kerala has unveiled a novel project to form Tourism Clubs in major college campuses across the state, as a collective endeavour of the departments of Tourism and Higher Education.

Minister for Tourism P A Mohamed Riyas and Minister for Higher Education R Bindu said Tourism Clubs would be formed in 25 colleges in the state in the first phase. The Department of Tourism would provide the funds for the activities of the clubs.

Tourism clubs will be in charge of the upkeep of 25 tourism destinations and they will especially ensure the hygiene of each property, Riyas said on Thursday.

The Minister exuded confidence that campus clubs would pave the way for new tourism trends and create interest in travel among students.

"The plan also includes identifying future tourism professionals among students, who can also help market the destinations using social media platforms. There are good bloggers among students and their talent can be leveraged for featuring the state's tourism attractions before a wider audience," he said.

The youngsters can also work as part-time tourism guides and cultural interactions and workshops will be conducted in concert with foreign universities to hone their skills, the tourism minister added.

Bindu said the initiative would encourage students to identify new tourism products, and contribute to the growth of the tourism sector, besides fostering interest among students in travel and tourism.

Apart from enhancing the awareness among the youth that tourism is a vital sector for Kerala, Tourism Clubs will rope in students to see that the tourism destinations and assets are maintained well, a statement said here.

The clubs would seek to nurture future professionals needed by the fast-growing tourism sector, develop international outlook among students, encourage them to take an active role in nature conservation and environmental activities and engage them in identifying new tourism spots.

Also, the campus clubs would help students understand the tastes and demands of the tourists of our time. The members of the Tourism Clubs would get an opportunity to participate in major tourism-related events in the state like Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) and Kochi Muziris Biennale.

The members of the clubs would have their uniform, which will be the same on all campuses, as well as ID cards. They will be given certificates jointly by the departments of Tourism and Higher Education.

District Tourism Promotion Councils would be entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating the activities of clubs in their respective areas.

Detailed guidelines on the functioning of Tourism Clubs would be drawn up in consultation with the Higher Education Department, the statement said.

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