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Ecotourism in Kerala
Kumbalangi, the picturesque village in the suburbs of Kochi is the first model tourism village in India. The village project is a unique initiative to transform the tiny island as a model fishing village and tourism spot.

The model village is a veritable treat to its visitors with the famous Chinese fishing nets and many other sights to savour. Kumbalangi has several eco systems like mangrove eco systems and back water eco systems etc. The project is aimed at the promotion of preservation and conservation of environment. Mangrove conservation of the 'panchayat' is an example. The heritage houses and exotic local cuisines are maintained and used for tourism purposes.

The project also proposes to save it's magnificent culture, traditional occupation such as Crab farming (Njandu krishi), various fishing methods, coir production etc. Kumbalangi, once was the centre of 'Vykom coir' production. The model village will be more eco-friendly - as part of the Kerala Tourism Eco-Initiative, Eco-Kerala.
The major tourism products are broadly classified as beaches, backwaters, hill stations, wildlife sanctuaries and culture including festivals. The major thrust is to upgrade the quality of these products and to provide basic infrastructure facilities.


The Western Ghats of Kerala with its tropical forest ecosystem provides a natural advantage for development of this segment of tourism.

In order to facilitate the fast growth of tourism sector in Kerala, we have; to diversify our tourism products. The Western Ghat regions of Kerala can be projected as an Ecotourism Zone in true sense. Ecotourism projects the concept of sustainability in tourism. That is, the needs of today's visitor should not be met at the expenses of future generations. Such as ecotourism project, based on internationally accepted principles, will help infuse the sustainability concept to other tourism ventures outside the realm of ecotourism.

Strength

  • Kerala has 12 wildlife sanctuaries and two national parks. These may form the base for planning ecotourism activities.
  • Apart from these, the rich biological diversity can be an added advantage.
  • The water bodies formed within the forest area due to construction of dams/hydel projects provide scope for recreational facilities
  • Massive marketing campaign is undertaken by Government of Kerala in the tourism field.
  • Scope for a variety of ecotourism activities such as mountaineering, trekking, bird watching etc.
  • Location advantages such as short distance from seashore, well developed road network upto forest area etc.
  • Forest staff who are well trained in wildlife, ecology etc.
  • Well informed public and conservation groups who may always be watchful of the adverse impacts if any.

The following are the important ecotourism destinations in Kerala

  • Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Periyar Tiger Reserve
  • Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Eravikulam National Park
  • Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary
  • Chimmini wild life sanctuary
  • Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Silent Valley National Park
  • Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Thenmala eco tourism project
  • Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

Potential Ecotourism Destinations

  • Kumarakom
  • Bhoothathankettu
  • Munnar
  • Athirappally - Vazhachal Falls
  • Nelliampathi
  • Nilambur
  • Peruvannamuzhy
  • Peruva islands
  • Tirunelli
  • Pythalmala
  • Ravipuram
  • Thenmala Ecotourism Development Project

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