Kerala Tourism has won gold at the maiden International Travel and Tourism awards, presented at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, for its Responsible Tourism initiative.

The awards, decided by an eminent jury from among international competitors, were instituted in 14 categories. With Kerala Tourism winning the gold in the Responsible tourism category, the first silver medal went to Cinnamon Elephant Project of Cinnamon Hotels (Sri Lanka) and the second silver to Coral Reef Revival project from Indonesia.

The state tourism board was chosen for the coveted award in “the Best in Responsible Tourism in the World “category, in recognition of its endeavours in promoting eco-friendly and heritage preserving activities with the involvement of local communities.

In terms of specifics, Kerala has 10,938 units working under Responsible Tourism Mission. Over 50,000 families enjoy the fruits of responsible tourism in the state.  

The Kerala delegation to the 38th edition of the WTM was led by State Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran.  The awards were received today in London by Surendran and Rani George, Secretary Tourism.

State tourism minister Surendran said the credit for this international honour primarily went to the Responsible Tourism Mission for its persistent and systematic efforts in popularising the best practices. “They have also helped local communities in tourism destinations in the state,” he added.

Secretary George, noting that the laurels were a matter of great pride for the entire state, said Kerala’s initiatives in responsible tourism have earned international attention and have duly been awarded.

Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran said the award would encourage the state to take forward the responsible tourism activities in a more effective manner.