Kochi: The PEPPER tourism project as part of the responsible tourism has reached the third phase. 10 more new tourist spots will be added to the project. Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran informed the decision to expand the project in the Assembly.
The project called PEPPER or People’s Participation for Planning and Empowerment through Responsible Tourism is aimed at ensuring cooperation of the public in tourism which connects rural areas with tourist spots in Kerala.
The project also aims to provide income to rural natives through farm tourism, farm stay, village tourism and home stay. Several tour packages are introduced as part of the project including traditional jobs, arts, food varieties and festivals.
This year Rs 72 lakh has been set apart for PEPPER tourism. Around Rs 42 lakh will be for development of new centres while Rs 30 lakh would be for training of rural natives. As per the project if the centre is a Lok Sabha Constituency or taluk 2,000 persons will be given employment and if it is a local self-government institute, 500 persons will be given jobs. Also the products made in these regions will be promoted.
Around 2000 units are aimed at this year which would provide jobs to 6000 persons directly and 15000 persons indirectly, said responsible tourism mission coordinator K Roopesh Kumar.
There are 964 units across 22 centres at present. Around Rs 1.5 crore has been obtained as revenue. A revenue of Rs 10 crore is expected this year.