Thiruvananthapuram: Novel schemes to tap the unexplored tourism potential of north Malabar region of Kerala have been evolved by the state-run Bekal Resorts Development Corporation (BRDC).
 
The corporation facilitated setting up of scores of Small and Medium Industries Leveraging Experiential Tourism (SMiLE) ventures involving aspiring entrepreneurs to set up tourism-related infrastructure facilities.
 
The BRDC will organise a three-day "SMILE Ambassador Tour"  programme involving the country's leading tourist operators from December6, a press release said.
 
The event is being hosted to introduce experiential tourism destinations and products typical to respective localities, BRDC managing director T K Manzoor said in the release.
 
The FAM (familiarisation) tour package was being envisaged to disseminate among participating stakeholders firsthand information on 50-odd SMiLE ventures managed by 93 entrepreneurs in northern Kasaragod and Kannur districts of the state, the release said.
      
While the first two days of the tour programme would focus on tourism hotspots in Kasaragod, during the last leg in Kannur on December 8 it was planned to interact with potential stakeholders in the region.
 
Also, Bekal Resorts proposed to hold talks with officials of Kannur International Airport, which would be dedicated to the nation on December 9, to seek their support for connectivity development to ensure smooth inflow of foreign and domestic tourists to the region, it said.
 
The company also planned an interactive meeting with investors associated with North Malabar Chamber of Commerce (NMCC) on December 8 as part of the initiative, it said.
 
Incidentally, the virtual tour guide (SMiLE VTG), launched by Bekal Resorts recently to guide the tourists to the region, can now be downloaded through Google Play store, the release said.
 
Bekal Resorts would soon be launching a project to introduce fresh tourism products, which includes 'Suranga,' a traditional water conservation technology, unique to Kasaragod, it said.
 
The initiatives come against the backdrop of a 2017 report saying the tourist inflow to the region was low despite sustained efforts in that regard, the release said.
 
According to the report, inflow of international tourists to the region was put at 0.57 per cent while the tally of the domestic visitors was only 6.54 per cent in relation to the tourism destinations in the southern districts of Kerala. PTI