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Continuing with its innovations and new product offerings to attract more visitors to the state, Kerala Tourism is all set to launch two of its significant projects - ‘Seaplane Project’ and ‘Project Muziris’ in September. While the seaplane project was launched earlier on the pilot basis to offer last mile connectivity, Project Muziris is aimed at reinstating the historical and cultural significance of the legendary port of Muziris, which makes a part of Central Kerala.

“The objective of the Seaplane Project is to provide service initially in the priority circuit, consisting of the three airports of Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut and the prime destinations such as Astamudi, Punnamada, Kumarakom, Bolgatty and Bekal in the state,” Anupama T V, Additional Director General, Kerala Tourism said in New Delhi.

The Muziris Heritage Project, which stretches across from North Paravur in Ernakulam district to Kodungalloor in Thrissur, will promote awareness and understanding of the cultural distinctiveness and diversity of Muziris. More than 25 museums will be there to showcase the Muziris Heritage.

Apart from these, Kerala Tourism is also working on launching the revival of Spice Route Project in September. “The Spice Route connected 31 countries including nations in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Kerala Tourism has completed the revival of Spice Route with the support of UNWTO and it is expecting other countries on the path to follow suit,” she said and added that the Spice Route Project is expected to give a spurt to foreign tourist arrivals in Kerala.

Meanwhile, Kerala Tourism recently signed an agreement with UNESCO to begin a historic cooperation for promoting and protecting the ancient Spice Route heritage. Under the agreement with UNESCO, several heritage projects related to the Spice Route will be designed and implemented in the state besides undertaking surveys and studies, joint publications, seminars and workshops and capacity-building activities like instituting scholarships and internships. Both Kerala Govt. and UNESCO will also mobilise bilateral and multilateral collaboration with the other countries involved in the ancient spice trade. “The partnership between our state and UNESCO is a major step towards reviving and remembering an ancient heritage in which Kerala was the undisputed leader on the global stage,” A P Anilkumar, Kerala Tourism Minister said in a press conference in Kerala.

Moreover, Kerala has also initiated a unique nature based soft adventure holidays program NATVENTURE. “The idea behind this is to use the key tourism products and engage the possibilities of adventure activities they offer,” she divulged.

She also informed that Kerala Tourism is giving utmost importance to Responsible Tourism while launching any new initiative. “We have chalked out plans to implement Responsible Tourism initiatives in seven destinations, namely Kumbalangy, Vythiri, Wayanad, Thenmala and Kovalam,” she said.

Giving more details on the tourist arrivals to the state, Anupama TV said that foreign tourist arrivals went up to 8.58 lakhs in 2013 from 7.94 lakhs in 2012, registering a growth of over 8 per cent. The domestic tourist arrivals also registered a 7.75 per cent growth. “We expect 10 per cent growth in tourist arrivals to Kerala in 2014 due to new initiatives we have undertaken,” she added. According to a release issued by the Kerala Tourism, the total revenue, both direct and indirect, from the tourism sector touched Rs. 22, 926.55 crores.

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