Bangalore, Sep 19 (UNI) To popularise the 'Unknown' part of 'God's Own Country', the Kerala Tourism Department has launched 'Wake up to Malabar', highlighting the enchanting sports in the five northern districts.
Speaking to newspersons here as part of the 'road show', Kerala Tourism Secretary V Venu said over 75 per cent of the tourists visiting Kerala, the topmost state in attracting tourists from the country and abroad, were visiting the Southern districts. The initiative was to expand the Kerala experience beyond the Southern districts.
The road show, an annual event, was the joint initiative of Kerala Tourism and 35 major tourist operators in that State.
''Malabar remains largely unknown to the world. We have launched this initiative to sensitise the tourism industry in the Northern parts of state and to attract tourists to Malabar, which is virgin, different and enchanting,'' he said.
The region, comprising the districts of Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod, was home to several places of interest like Kappad beach where Vasco da Gama landed in 1498, famous tree houses and forests of Wayanad and 300-year-old Bekal fort, he said.
Dr Venu said Kerala Tourism had taken up several other initiatives to sustain the momentum of tourism growth, which had witnessed a significant 26 per cent increase in international arrivals and eight per cent hike in domestic tourists during the first quarter of this year.
It included 'Dream Season' launched early this year, targetting the domestic holiday makers by rapidly converting the traditional off-season between April and September. The packages in this season were available at attractive prices, he said.
The department had launched 'Let's Learn', designed to enhance the skills of personnel in the industry, 'Synergy Quest', an e-research initiative to collect feedback from tourism trade, and 'Responsible Tourism' that envisaged its future growth by focussing on sustainable and responsible tourism, he added.