Aymanam: This panchayat in Kottayam district of Kerala has set an example in Responsible Tourism by becoming the first local body in the state to successfully implement the ‘Model responsible tourism village project’. The joint efforts of the people as well as the panchayat authorities in Aymanam panchayat have now earned the recognition of the government.
Under the Model responsible tourism village project, responsible tourism activities are fully integrated with the regular projects of the local body. With the success of the Model responsible tourism village project, the government has now launched measures to raise Aymanam panchayat into an international responsible tourism destination.
“The state government’s honour is a recognition of the collective efforts of the local residents and the panchayat ruling committee,” said K Alichan, president of the Aymanam panchayat.
According to V S Bhagat Singh, coordinator, Responsible Tourism Mission, “The Aymanam panchayat extended total support to implement the Model responsible tourism village project. Now, more such programmes will be implemented in the panchayat.”
The panchayat’s efforts
Aymanam implemented a host of programmes to earn the ‘Model responsible tourism village’. Among them was preparation of tourism packages that took visitors to ancient temples and churches in the area. Another effort was conducting sanitation activities under the Clean Kerala Mission. The panchayat also organised a water lily festival to attract travellers.
Yet another unique initiative was a mobile toilet and waste management mechanisms were installed in every ward of the panchayat. An eco-friendly tour package was also among the attractions. Meanwhile, work was started on Valiyamadakkulam and park projects.
In addition, the panchayat authorities organized meetings of tourists and the local people to improve the interaction and relations between them.
Projects in the pipeline
After becoming a ‘Model responsible tourism village’, Aymanam is all set to witness a host of new activities. They include, the official declaration of the panchayat as a ‘Model responsible tourism village’, the announcement of a cultural experience package and the second phase training programme for 400 local people involved in the Responsible Tourism initiative.