On Thursday, the Madhya Pradesh government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kerala for replicating the State’s Responsible Tourism Mission initiative in Madhya Pradesh.
In a ceremony held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala’s Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran and his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Usha Thakur signed and exchanged a joint declaration in which Kerala will offer services under a 16-point programme.
During the ceremony, Surendran said that Responsible Tourism helps create better places for people to live and visit as it is the only tool for sustainable development of tourism.
"Responsible Tourism takes responsibility for the economic well-being of society. It ensures social and cultural stability besides environmental protection,” he said.
He added that Kerala did not have a model to follow or replicate when Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched the RT Mission in 2017.
“When Kerala launched RT Mission, we did not have a model to follow or replicate. Today, the Mission has 20,000 units comprising of small-scale entrepreneurs, artists, craftspeople, traditional workers, farmers and other service providers,” Surendran said, adding that they are local communities at the grassroots, linked directly or indirectly with tourism.
The Kerala Tourism Minister also said that the RT Mission’s projects earned the State’s tourist map several micro destinations despite the outbreak of Nipah, two floods and the current Covid-19 crisis.
Madhya Pradesh Tourism Minister Usha Thakur also spoke during the function. She expressed being overwhelmed by Kerala’s way of preserving tradition, culture and heritage in State. She added that with Kerala’s RT Mission assistance, Madhya Pradesh will be able to preserve its rustic beauty, life and heritage which could be highlighted on the world tourism map.
“There are several tribes like Bhil, Sahariya and Gond living in our State. We want to showcase their traditional value, attire and food habits to the entire country and the outside world with Kerala’s assistance. India is a country of villages and its soul lies in the villages. We want to show it to the world with your cooperation,” she said.
Reportedly, Thakur will be leading a 13-member team from Bhopal for a tour to different parts of Kerala sometime next week. The tour is to help the team gain first-hand knowledge about Responsible Tourism in Kerala.