Strengthening Kerala’s pioneering ‘Women-Friendly Tourism’ initiative launched by the state government to turn the vital sector gender inclusive, a two-day orientation programme for women at Kumarakom held in collaboration with UN Women focused on a wide range of tourism activities in which women can play a central role.
The ‘Trainers of Trainer’ programme, held at Kumarakom Cultural Centre, was organised by the state’s Responsible Tourism Mission (RT Mission), the nodal agency for the project.
A total of 85 women trainers attended the programme, who will, in turn train women engaged in tourism initiatives and allied services in different parts of the state. This was the second in a series of training programmes planned by RT Mission, covering all regions of the state.
The programme, which concluded on August 1, turned out to be a forum for experiencesharing sessions, where entrepreneurs and professionals spoke on how successfully an entire spectrum of tourism activities could be carried out, making the stay in the state a unique experience for visitors.
Noting that Kerala was the first state in the country to come out with the women-friendly tourism initiative, Tourism Minister Shri P A Mohamed Riyas said these training sessions will accelerate the progress of ‘Women-Friendly Tourism’ and attract more women tourists to the state.
Besides building a conducive ambience for women tourists to visit the state in solo or in groups, ‘Women-Friendly Tourism’ initiative also envisages women to play a prominent role as entrepreneurs and professionals in tourism and hospitality sector, the Minister said.
The training, which focused on women-friendly tourism activities, also had sessions featuring the state’s community-oriented Responsible Tourism (RT), gender-inclusive tourism and gender-inclusive spaces.
Kerala Tourism Secretary Shri K Biju said through ‘Women-Friendly Tourism’ the government ensures safe and hygienic places and tourism destinations for women.
According to Kerala Tourism Director Shri P B Nooh, the project will instill a sense of security among women travellers to the state, thereby promoting tourism with a focus on women empowerment.
The project will see the participation of women in a whole lot of activities, including catering and accommodation, transportation and serving as community guides. It is expected to create at least 10,000 enterprises, nearly 30,000 job opportunities, and a network of 1.5 lakh women engaged in tourism and allied sectors. So far, 1850 women have participated in training sessions held as part of the project.
RT Mission State Coordinator Shri K Rupeshkumar gave an overview of the ‘Women Friendly Tourism’ project in building the state’s tourism sector in a way that bolsters women empowerment and led the sessions.
UN Women India Kerala co-ordinator Dr Peeja Rajan, renowned traveller and travel writer Smt Remya S Anand, Former CEO KIED & Project Manager KTIL Shri Sarath V Raj, Kumarakom Grama Panchayat President Smt Dhanya Sabu, Escape Now Founder Smt Indu Krishna, Wildlife Photographer, and Founder & CEO of Earthern Pool Villa Smt Salini P S, Vembanad House Founder Smt Sandhya Thirunilath, Grassroutes Journeys Founder Smt Ambili M Soman, Kumarakom RT cultural group leader Smt Sajitha, and RT Mission’s Mission Coordinator Smt Biji Xavier were the other prominent speakers.