Kochi: A quaint hamlet nestled in the heart of Kottayam has drawn visitors in large numbers in the past couple of weeks after a carpet of pleasant pink in the form of water lilies enveloped over 16 areas of Malarickal.
However, the buzz had its little fall out in the form of disturbance to the quiet life of farmers there besides pollution concerns.
In what might be a win-win situation for tourists, who seek a rendezvous wholly detached from their routine, and also the local populous, Kerala Tourism has identified 15 new lush green destinations in the Central region for tourism promotion by setting up a ‘Visitor Management Plan’ in place.
“The 15 destinations identified as part of the tourism resource mapping efforts will be included under the ongoing ‘Experience life cycle of a Paddy field’ project. We’ll work in co-ordination with the panchayats and local associations so that villagers too get benefitted through sustainable tourism activities,” State Responsible Tourism Mission Co-ordinator Rupesh Kumar K told DC.
Like Malarickal, the new destinations like Vettikadu (Thiruvarppu village), Manchira (near Aymanam), Cheepunkal (Kumarakom), Kallara (Vaikom), Ambattukadavu (Pathupalli), Puthan Kayal (Vechur), Neelamperoor (Alappuzha-Chenaganassery border), Thiruvaykkari (Thiruvarppu) and Vakathanam are all lush green paddy fields located along stretches of backwaters.
“Water lilies in full blossom will be one of the attractions as the main tourism activities will focus on enabling the visitors experience different agriculture practices like loosening of soil, sowing, adding manure and fertilizers, irrigation, harvesting and storage. Facilities will be made where the tourists can try a hand at fishing or collecting water lilies in identified sections without affecting the work of farmers,” the official said.
The department would facilitate services like Home stay and ethnic delicacies so that the visitors would be spared of taking food materials and thereby avoiding disposal of packaging materials at the scenic sites.
“We’re also in the process of identifying such destinations across the state for the community-based tourism activities,” Kumar added....