Chasing the monsoon is the theme for God’s Own Country this year. Elucidating on the initiatives, K. P. Nandkumar, deputy director, Kerala Tourism, said that the aim of the Green Carpet initiative with a 10-point agenda is to give a facelift to select tourist destinations in the state. “Besides unique experiences, there is a need to make continuous efforts on security, cleanliness, hygiene and scientific waste management methods. This also sparks off community involvement in tourism development,” said Nandkumar. Then there’s the Spice Route Revival Project. The state has been making efforts to promote the two millennia-old spice route that links the southwestern coast of India to Europe. And the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has pledged to support this. A team of 17 chefs from 15 countries had taken part in the Spice Route Culinary Festival in September 2016.
Other projects include nature-based soft adventure holidays programme called Natventure. Under this come trekking, camping, rock climbing, jungle tour, wildlife safaris, bird watching, cycling, kayaking, canoeing and paragliding. And Bekal is the ‘new destination’ for ayurveda in north Kerala, as per the state’s tourism department.