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Programme Code : BTS
Course Code : PTS – 4
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Title of the Project : THE FACETS OF CULTURAL
TOURISM IN KERALA AND
- CULTURAL RESPONSIBILITY AND TOURISM IN KERALA
- CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS OF KERALA
- GOVERNMENT’S ROLE IN PROMOTING CULTURE
- TOURISM POLICY (DRAFT) 2025-A VISION
- IMPACTS OF CULTURAL TOURISM IN KERALA – A CRITIQUE
- CULTURAL TOURISM IN TAMIL NADU
- CULTURAL ACTIVITIES FOR TOURISM
- CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS OF TAMIL NADU
Kerala Tourism is a global super brand and regarded as one of the destinations with the highest brand recall. Cultural tourism helps a great deal in recapturing the values of Kerala Culture by a subtle process of (as K.M. Munshi puts it) re-interpretation, re-integration and adaptation. The state’s tourism agenda promotes ecologically sustained tourism, which focuses on the local culture, wilderness adventures, volunteering enterprises, and personal growth of the local population. Efforts are taken to minimize the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the natural environment, and enhance the cultural integrity of local people.
By 1986, tourism had gained an industry status in Kerala. Named as one of the ten paradises of the world by the National Geographic Traveler, Kerala is famous especially for its ecotourism initiatives, its unique culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demography, that has made the State one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Growing at a rate of 13.31 %, the tourism industry is a major contributor to the state’s economy. Aggressive marketing compaign launched by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation - the government agency that oversees tourism prospects of the state – laid the foundation for the growth of tourism industry. The tagline God’s Own Country is adopted in its tourism promotions and became synonymous with the state.
Kerala’s culture is mainly Dravidian in origin, deriving from a greater Tamil – heritage region known as Tamilakam. Later Kerala’s culture was elaborated on through centuries of contact with overseas cultures. Native performing arts are star tourism attractions; which include Koodiyattom, Kathakali and its offshoot Kerala Natanam, Koothu, Mohiniattom, Thullal, Padayani and Theyyam. Other arts are more religion – and tribal – themed and showcased adeptly towards attracting, cultural tourists. These include Chavittu Nadakam, Oppana (Originally from Malabar), which combines dance, rhythmic hand clapping, and ishal vocalizations.
Lawrence Lopez (1988) has proposed an interesting observation on Kerala. “Kerala is a state of paradox, the co-existence of low rate of progress on one hand with
rather high level of social and cultural development on the other”. The model of development adopted in Kerala has become a subject of serious study by the economists all over the world. Lopez has given due credit to the activities of cultural associations of Kerala, for their achievements that helped the state take huge strides towards progress. He is hopeful that the dawn would break the clouds and a new Kerala would emerge through balanced social, economic and cultural development
K.V. Surendranath (1987) in his preface to the book Kerala Kala Gramam notes that “Kerala had a ‘farm culture’ that nurtured and nourished rural art and heritage. With the depreciation of agricultural lands and practices, we almost lost them.” It is quite interesting to observe that ‘tourism culture’ has replaced the ‘farm culture’ in many destinations of Kerala, for eg:- Waynad. Research works on Home-stay tourism in Wayanad and the increase in resorts at the destination confirm the observations.