'Responsible Tourism Policy' soon: Minister

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 22 (UNI) A 'Responsible Tourism policy' to check plundering of ecology in the name of creating facilities for tourists will be announced in Kerala soon, the state's Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said today.

The emphasis in the new policy would be to protect environment, natural resources and heritage in tourist destinations, he told newspersons, participating in a meet-the-press programme of the Press Club here.

A master plan would be prepared for Munnar region where a demolition drive was already on against illegal structures, he said.

He pointed out that the arrival of domestic tourists last year in the state had recorded a 5.5 per cent increase, compared to the previous year, touching 6.3 million during the current season.

However, the growth rate of foreign tourists during the last year was 24 per cent with a total of 450,000.

Stating that investment to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore had come into the state last year in the tourism sector, he said the target for this year was Rs 1,500 crore. A tourism infrastructure corporation would be constituted to mobilise funds for taking up tourism development activities.


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