Kerala Tourism bags World Travel Mart London award

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 5  Kerala Tourism bagged the World Travel Mart London, Highly Commended Award for the outstanding work of Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission during the Covid-19 period. RT Mission has received this recognition in the category of Meaningful Connections. American company Mejdi also won the Highly Commended Award in the same category and Secret Paradise from the Maldives, a release said on Thursday. Village Ways, a UK-based Indian company, also bagged the second-place Commanded Award. This year, WTM presents the Highly Commend and Command Awards. During the Covid lockdown, the Responsible Tourism Mission received the award for its innovative work on work at Home Videos, Storytelling audio and video series produced and presented by the units in conjunction with the Mission units in the state. The Work at Home Videos are videos developed by Responsible Tourism Mission entrepreneurs with message to stay home safely during the lockdown but not to despair and to adopt measures to prevent Covid and welcoming the tourists visiting Kerala to their homes to see their work activities as soon as Covid issues are over. RT Mission instructed the members of the unit washed their hands with sanitizer or soap and start their own work and presented them as a video document to engage them during the lockdown period and it became hit programme in National and International platforms and became a marketing tool also. This was followed by storytelling audios about each area and its festivals, followed by the videos of playing various traditional musical instruments and other folk art forms then to the making of various products. RT Mission has received a collection of 1048 audios and videos, the release said. All videos were self-produced and edited by the RT Mission unit members. These were viewed by thousands of people through various social media platforms.
During the World Folklore Day, the organisers aired these videos for an hour and a half in the program ‘Folkkathone’.
The award jury said it was the most popular intervention in the world to give confidence to entrepreneurs and tourists in the tourism sector who are reeling from the epidemic. The award jury added that the move sends a message that any crisis can be overcome by working with one mind. “The award proves that the Responsible Tourism Mission is becoming a driving force in sharing innovative ideas and ensuring public participation in the tourism sector,” Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said. Tourism Secretary Rani George said the mission was one of the most significant in the tourism sector during the epidemic. Bala Kiran, Director Tourism congratulated all the Responsible Tourism Mission Unit members in Kerala for this achievement. The uniqueness of this recognition is that the Responsible Tourism Mission units are proving that life-affirming activities need to be presented live without exaggeration to be evaluated and recognised by the world, Mr K Rupeshkumar, State RT Mission Coordinator said.
This is the 5th International Award received after the formation of Responsible Tourism Mission in 2017. The Mission won 3 National Awards during this period. There are currently 20017 units operating in the State under the Mission.
One lakh beneficiaries are part of the mission activities. The units under the mission earned revenue of Rs 35 crore in 3 years. About 80% of the total units are headed by women. The Mission also runs 140 experience tour packages. Mission training has already been imparted to 7000 people. 48 new tourism destinations have sprung up through the Mission’s flagship projects Pepper and Model RT Village.