Leveraging G20, Kumarakom to hold its first-ever tourism fest
A couple of weeks before it welcomed dignitaries for G20 meetings, locals found things beginning to look a little brighter for Kumarakom. Almost all the roads here were restored while the canal networks that criss-crossed the landscape were cleaned up and beautified on a war-footing.
And as the international event took off to a start here in the first week of April, it also drew a welcome spotlight on this lake-side village. Leveraging the momentum, the destination has started moving beyond the ubiquitous houseboats and luxury hotels to rebrand itself in the global tourism map.
Marking the first step in this direction, Kumarakom will be hosting a four-day long tourism festival from May 12 to May 15. From the local cuisine to the indigenous handicraft and new locations to night life packages, a variety of tourism products and services will be showcased as part of the festival.
“The event has been designed to rebrand the entire panchayat as a safe destination offering tourism services in each of its wards,” said Dhanya Sabu, president of the local body. The event will also coincide with a slew of arts and sports festivals so as to ensure participation of the entire villagers.
The G20 meetings in April, according to Ms.Sabu, have given a much-needed boost to the village destination, which was reeling under the pandemic-induced break on global travel. “The G20 events made Kumarakom talk of the town while it also highlighted the way our people including the artists, boat crew and even the inland fishermen cooperate with the guests. That was definitely a good publicity to have,” she added.
K.Rupesh Kumar, coordinator, Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission Kerala said the event aimed to carry forward the mission of Kumarakom to become a responsible and resilient destination, driven together by the local community and the tourism industry.
“Despite being declared as the first model tourism destination, a few areas still remain left out of the tourism network and this event is expected to plug this gap,” he explained.
Cooperation Minister V.N. Vasavan, who is also the local legislator, is coordinating the tourism festival.