The RT booth at KTM invites visitors to board the “Changadam” with a focus on environmental protection

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The RT booth at KTM invites visitors to board the “Changadam” with a focus on environmental protection

Kochi, 7 May (UNI) A water-filled rectangular moat, giving a hands-on feel of a canal with a floating bamboo raft (changadam), welcomes visitors to the ongoing Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), underscoring the state’s spirit of celebrity Responsible Tourism (RT) that focuses on environmental protection and community development. Alongside this installation at the entrance to the event are two landmarks that bear the Malabar signature and highlight the government’s new initiatives to promote tourism in North Kerala – a specimen of the Kasaragod Suranga Irrigation Tunnel in Kasaragod State and mock battles by representatives of the ancient Kalaripayattu -martial arts. These and other spectacles immediately draw viewers’ attention to the RT booth at KTM-2022 and convey the message that RT is a critical component in sustainable and inclusive tourism development. With its clean blue water, the 12 x 7 foot “canal” at the center of the pavilion recaptures an everyday sight in the rural landscape of God’s Own Country. Although the bamboo raft looks like a toy at first glance, you can board it and glide across the bank to the sprawling Sagara and Samudrika Convention Centers on Willingdon Island, where the event will take place. “It’s great fun,” said AU Faizal Khan, a Delhi-born Malayali who attended KTM May 5-8, which brings together delegates from 69 countries and buyers from 25 states across the country. “It reminds me of my hometown in lower Kuttanad,” he said. Organized by the KTM Society, the market was inaugurated by Kerala’s governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Thursday in the presence of industrialist MA Yusuff Ali, among others, a statement said. Perhaps more adventurous with KTM is the recreation of Suranga, the traditional water management system, which functions as a horizontal tunnel dug into the slope of a laterite mound. The Suranga uses gravity to extract groundwater and allows this natural resource to be collected in a storage tank. Kerala Tourism RT Mission is showing their working model in the market as part of their effort to revitalize Suranga based on ancient rustic wisdom. The apparatus has a narrow and dark passageway that visitors to KTM like to walk through carefully to find a trickle of water at the other end. “The Surangas are among the greatest natural wonders in the world. The guides here are from the Kasaragod area, who are also our regional coordinators,” said K. Rupeshkumar, state coordinator of Kerala’s flagship RT mission. “Tourism is not just about seeing places. It has to be something that can be experienced. In return, we offer tremendous opportunities for visitors to interact directly with the ecosystem and our employees,” he added. KTM Society President Baby Mathew noted that RT has immense scope to sustain tourism in the long term. “Not only does it bring us new tourism products, but it also works for the socio-economic benefit of local communities,” he added. As for the Kalaripayattu exercises at the KTM booth, young practitioners of the famous Kadathanadan school clash their spears against the metal shields of their “opponents”, creating an audiovisual sensation of martial arts believed to have a history of three millennia owns. The half-dozen men from Kadathanadan Kalari of Puthuppanam Gurukal from Vadakara in Kozhikode district also displayed their weapons. KTM 2022, which started with a cultural show, aims to showcase the country’s strength in the tourism sector to a global audience. An exhibition on key tourism issues is a key attraction at the market, which is organized as a public-private partnership. Public admission is permitted on the last day, Sunday, from 1 p.m. The KTM Society, founded in 2000 as the country’s largest organization in the travel and tourism segment, is working to revitalize the industry hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. UNI DS SY 1443

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