Tag Archives: Kerala

Kerala Tourism unveils Rs 25 crore restoration project to mark 100 years of Mascot Hotel

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated a Rs 25-crore project for the restoration of the heritage of the iconic Mascot Hotel, coinciding with the celebrations of 100 years of the hospitality pioneer in Thiruvananthapuram. The comprehensive project, drawn up by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), was unveiled close on the heels of Mascot Hotel bagging the five-star status. Vijayan also unveiled the plaque to mark the historic occasion and opened a month-long exhibition that depicts the 100 years of glorious service of the trail blazer in hospitality sector in the state. Minister for Co-operation, Devaswom and Tourism, Kadakampally Surendran presided over the function held at Mascot Hotel. Surendran said that Mascot has got the unique distinction of being the maiden five-star hotel in the public sector. Recalling the history and fame of the institution, he noted “In the hotel map published by the Bombay-based Indian Hotel Company in 1937, Mascot was one among the four hotels listed from South India. In 1965, it came under KTDC.” The Minister underscored the need to adopt quality service and new marketing strategies in order to compete with private players in the hospitality industry. M Vijayakumar, Chairman, KTDC, delivered a felicitation speech. He said, “Mascot Hotel is a priceless treasure of Kerala. It is the jewel in KTDC’s crown. The heritage restoration project will be carried out without in any way harming its distinguishing architectural features.” The project to strengthen and preserve the heritage property will be executed under the leadership of Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society. The works to be taken up include strengthening of the building, rooms, passages, beautification of the premises and improving the amenities. They will be completed in two phases within a …

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Alphons inaugurates Eco Circuit project in Kerala

K J Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism has inaugurated the project ‘Development of Eco Circuit: Pathanamthitta – Gavi – Vagamon – Thekkady’ under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of Ministry of Tourism in the presence of K Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala at Vagamon in Kerala. This Eco Circuit project was sanctioned in December 2015 for Rs 76.55 crores.  Major works carried out under the project includes Eco Adventure Tourism Park at Vagamon, Cultural Centre at Kadamanitta, Eco Log Huts at Peerumedu, Idukki, Approach Roads, walking trails, rain shelters at Pine Valley Forest, Thekkady, Kumily, Moozhiyar Dam, Penstock and Kakki Dam. Swadesh Darshan scheme is one of the flagship schemes of Ministry of Tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner. Under this scheme the Government is focussing on development of quality infrastructure in the country with objective of providing better experience and facilities to the visitors on one hand and on other hand fostering the economic growth. The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date the Ministry has sanctioned 77 projects worth projects for Rs. 6131.88 crore to 30 states and UTs. 30 projects / major components of projects are expected to be completed during the current financial year, of which 12 projects worth Rs 1024.49 crore, covering the states of Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Kerala and Sikkim have already been inaugurated. The Ministry of Tourism recognising the tourism potential of the state has sanctioned seven projects in Kerala under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD schemes for an approximate amount of Rs 550 crores.

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AI Express to start Sharjah-Surat direct from February

Air India Express will launch its first direct flight service from Surat to Sharjah on February 16. The flight will depart from Sharjah at 7:35 PM and arrive in Surat at 11:45 PM on Mondays and Saturdays. From Surat, the flight will depart at 12:30 AM with arrival into Sharjah at 02:15 AM on Tuesdays and Sundays. This service will be upgraded to four flights a week in the summer schedule. The airline will also expand services from Gulf to Kannur in Kerala in its summer schedule 2019, which shall commence on March 31, 2019. “Summer 2019 will witness additional capacity being deployed to strengthen the network between Gulf and Kerala. There will be two more flights on Mondays and Fridays,” the statement said. The airline will operate five flights on the Kozhikode-Riyadh sector in the Summer schedule’19 instead of the present four services per week. The additional flight will operate on Fridays at the existing timings. Operating with a fleet of 25 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, the airline will have 653 weekly departures in the new schedule, as against 621 per week currently. The increase in operations will be achieved through capacity addition and by increasing aircraft utilisation, which is poised to go up from about 13.3 hours currently to 13.4 hours per day per aircraft in the summer schedule, the airline said. Source: PTI

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Ebix wins contract to provide forex services at new Kannur International Airport

EbixCash World Money airport forex counters has been inaugurated at the arrival and departure terminals at Kannur International Airport in the presence of Minister of Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu; Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan; Minister of Industries, Sports and Youth Affairs, EP Jayarajan; Minister of Ports, Kadakampally Surendran; Minister of Transport, AK Saseendran; Minister of Water Resources, K Krishnankutty; and KIAL MD, V Thulasidas among other senior central and state government officials, and industry leaders. EbixCash World Money will offer passengers flying in and out of the city, foreign exchange at competitive rates along with a host of other products such as travellers’ cheques, multi-currency prepaid cards and travel insurance. Commenting on the launch, T C Guruprasad, Managing Director, EbixCash WorldMoney said, “Kannur is a fast-growing business and tourism destination with Wayanad and Coorg being in close proximity. Besides being the district headquarters, it offers a mix of beaches, forts and museums. A large number of international flights also offer direct connectivity from Middle East destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Muscat, Riyadh, Doha and Kuwait, making it a strategic location for us to offer our forex and travel services. We currently have six branches and nine airport forex counters in Kerala.” Spread about 2,000 acres, the Kannur Airport is the newest addition to India’s international airport portfolio. The airport is expected to serve more than one million passengers annually with passenger traffic estimated to increase five-fold by 2025.    

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SIHRA Convention kicks off in Madurai

With its theme “Together for a Better Tomorrow”, SIHRA Convention is taking place from October 4-5, with participation from nearly 600 delegates. The convention looks at connecting all the south Indian states and brings about varied opportunities in exploring the hospitality and tourism fraternity. The event is expected to be a perfect mix of technology, emerging trends in the beverage and food industry, innovations in hotel projects and women leadership in the hospitality industry, among others. It is being supported by the departments of tourism, governments of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Puducherry.  The event will be inaugurated by Vellamandi N Natarajan, Minister for Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu, in the presence of SP Velumani, Minister for Municipal Administration and Rural Development; KA Sengottaiyan, Minister for School Education; Shri Sellur K Raju, Minister for Co-operation; RB Udhaya Kumar, Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management and Dindigul C Sreenivasan, Minister for Forests Department. Edappadi K Palaniswami, Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu, said,  The state continues to hold the leading position in tourist arrivals, both domestic and international for the fourth year in a row. I am sure that SIHRA, which has over 1100 hotel and restaurant members playing a major role in providing comprehensive logistic support to all our tourists.” S K Hari Arumugam, Chairman, Organising Committee, SIHRA Convention 2018, said, “It is our objective that each and every fellow member is an integral part of this movement, empowered with a forum to voice concerns and have problems redressed and, to facilitate every member in  enabling them to take advantage of this event and enterprise.”

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Govt announces free of cost renewal of damaged passports in Kerala floods

Providing relief to residents of flood-affected Kerala, Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India, has announced the free of cost renewal of all passports damaged in the Kerala floods. “There are unprecedented floods in Kerala causing huge damage. We have decided that as the situation becomes normal, passports damaged on account of floods shall be replaced free of charge. Please contact the concerned Passport Kendras,” announced Swaraj on Twitter.

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Nipah scare fades; Kerala safe for travel

Kerala government has said that its tourism scenario has breathed a sigh of relief with the Nipah virus scare, having been subdued. The virus outbreak had threatened to affect tourism arrivals to the state.  The state government also said that there has been no new cases of the Nipah virus attack reported over the past 21 days, and the state health department believes that the scare has waned off. “The health advisories issued by the State Health Department on May 22 and 25, 2018, soon after the Nipah virus had made its appearance, have now been withdrawn. The government believes that it is absolutely safe for travelers to arrive in Kerala,” a statement by the state government said. As per the latest health advisory released by the Kerala Health and Family Welfare Department, the Nipah virus outbreak is over in Kerala. The advisory substantiates this with the fact that there has been absolutely no new cases of the virus attack reported over the past 21 days, and this is more that the longest recorded incubation period of the virus. Travellers who had been putting off their travels plans owing to fear of the virus, can now be sure enough that it is absolutely safe to travel to Kerala. The scare has died off and the state’s destinations are safer as before, the statement said.

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Kerala records 10.9% rise in tourist arrivals in 2017

Tourist arrivals to Kerala have registered a significant growth of 10.93 per cent during 2017, compared to figures of the previous year. According to statistics compiled by Kerala Tourism, Kerala saw as many as 15.54 lakh tourists including both domestic and foreign travellers during the year. An increase of 15 lakh new domestic tourists was recorded this year, with footfalls going up to 1,46,73,520 in 2017 as against 1,31,72,535 in 2016. As per the report, it was found that foreign tourists preferred travelling to Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam districts, while also opting for destinations like Alappuzha, Munnar and Wayanad. In terms of specific locations, both foreign and domestic tourists were found to have preferred Kochi as a prime destination. According to Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Devaswoms, the statistics show up encouraging trends in terms of increasing footfalls both in the international as well as domestic segments. Rani George IAS, Secretary, Department of Tourism, said, “The trend in tourist arrivals over the past five years has shown a marked change in the pattern of tourist visits to different destinations. It is exciting that more destinations are being sought after by tourists, and that shows more destinations in Kerala are gaining in prominence in travellers’ minds.”  

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Kerala Budget proposes Rs 381 crore for tourism development

The tourism arena in Kerala will receive added support from the government with the state budget 2018 setting aside close to Rs 381 crore towards development and promotion of the sector. The budgetary provisioning is Rs 36 crore more than the Rs 345 crore that was set aside last year. Presenting the Budget in the Kerala Assembly, Dr Thomas Isaac, Minister for Finance, said the state government will focus more on conservation and preservation of heritage monuments in the coming financial year. The Finance Minister set aside Rs 82.50 crore towards marketing of the tourism sector. Lauding Kerala Tourism’s nine international awards last year, Dr Isaac said the government would accord priority to conservation of heritage monuments in the state as part of its plans towards tourism development. An amount to the tune of Rs 40 crore has been set aside in this regard. The Muziris project, which has been progressing at a slow pace, shall be speeded up and will be completed in a period of two years. Plans are also afoot to include destinations such as Thalassery, Ponnani and Beypore in the tourism map. Dr Thomas Isaac’s budget has also set aside Rs 16 crore towards organising cultural events such as the Kochi Muziris Biennale, Nishagandhi Dance and Music festivals, Onam celebrations, Thrissur Pooram, Theyyam festivals, boat races and others.  

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Adventure Rock Hill at Jatayu Earth Centre, Kerala opens for public

Jatayu Earth’s Center – Kerala’s first build–operate–transfer (BOT) model ecotourism project, ‘Adventure Rock Hill’, is now open for visitors. Located at Chadayamangalam in Kollam district of Kerala, the Jatayupara Nature Park was rechristened as Jatayu Earth’s Center. Covering four hills in Chadayamangalam, there are few more ventures pending to make the Nature Park fully operational by April 2018. Adventure Rock Hill is open for a group of 10-100 people, with entry of Rs 3500 per person. Spread across 65 acres, it offers abundant activities like camping, rock climbing, trekking, 6D theatre, a virtual reality museum, a Siddha and an Ayurvedic cave resort. The key highlight of the Jatayu Earth Centre is the world’s largest bird sculpture, which has an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. Rajiv Anchal, Concept Designer, Chairman and Managing Director, Jatayu Earth’s Center, stated, “Considered as a glorious example of eco-friendly tourism in India, the center is a result of 10 years of sustained dedication. ‘Jatayu’ symbolises an era when humans and other living beings cared for each other and lived together peacefully.” P. Bala Kiran, Director, Kerala Tourism, said, “From adventure enthusiasts to families, young generation of travellers to couples, this tourist spot caters to a wide audience. The center allows the tourists to have thrilling experiences, while exploring the natural beauty of the place.”  

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