Boatride amidst a picturesque nature setting - Kumarakom Tourism

Kumarakom Tourism Model: Sustainable Tourism in Kerala

Kumarakom, a serene village nestled amidst the lush landscapes of Kerala, India, has embraced Responsible Tourism (RT) as a guiding principle to foster sustainable development. Under this initiative by the tourism department, the landmark continues to develop while cherishing its rich heritage and preserving its precious natural resources. Let us dive into what responsible tourism in Kumarakom is all about.

the bow of the boat faces the river and palm trees - Kumarakom Tourism

A Product of Sustainable Tourism in Kerala

Kerala's Responsible Tourism Initiative is a pioneering example of how a participatory approach can transform a vibrant tourism industry into a sustainable and responsible one. In 2007, recognising the vast potential of tourism and the importance of preserving its natural and cultural wealth, a comprehensive action program for Responsible Tourism (RT) was developed. The plan included a broad spectrum of stakeholders from elected representatives to community leaders, environmentalists and academics.

The RT initiative aimed to strike a delicate balance between social, economic and environmental aspects, fostering cooperation and support among all players in the tourism business. The pilot phase began in 2008 and focused on four diverse destinations—Kovalam, Thekkady, Wayanad and Kumarakom. Kerala Tourism Initiative identified opportunities for local communities to actively participate in the tourism industry through scientific assessments and resource mapping. Additionally, it sensitises them to the benefits of adopting responsible practices.

Empowering Communities

One of RT’s core objectives for Kumarakom tourism is to empower local communities economically, socially and culturally. Through the RT project, the natives are encouraged to offer their unique products and services to visitors. This approach not only enhances their income opportunities but also allows tourists to experience the authentic flavours of Kumarakom. From handcrafted souvenirs and locally grown produce to traditional art forms and cultural performances, visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant local culture.  

The painted face of a man who perform Theyyam an artform in Kerala - Kumarakom Tourism
A person dressed to perform Kathakali - Kumarakom Tourism

Cultural Exchange and Pride in Heritage

Responsible tourism in Kumarakom promotes cultural exchange between tourists and locals. By providing opportunities for interaction with tourists, the natives gain exposure to new ideas, cultures and perspectives. In return, tourists get a chance to learn about the village's traditions, customs and way of life, fostering mutual respect and appreciation. The RT project has also created a platform for the locals to showcase their talents. Traditional art forms, folk dances and culinary delights have become essential components of the tourism experience, enriching the journey for visitors and empowering the community.  

Preserving Environment

Sustainability is at the heart of Kumarakom tourism. The village's stunning natural beauty, characterised by backwaters, mangroves and wetlands, is a delicate ecosystem that requires protection. The RT project has implemented various initiatives to ensure the environment remains unharmed by tourism activities. From waste management and recycling programs to energy conservation measures, the project emphasises minimising the ecological footprint of Kumarakom tourism.  

A stunning view of the lake and surrounding greenery in Kumarakom - Kumarakom Tourism
A boatride along the lovely backwaters of Kerala - Kumarakom Tourism

Recognition and Awards

The success of the project promoting responsible tourism in Kumarakom has not gone unnoticed. The village was honoured with the National Tourism Award for Best Responsible Tourism Project for 2008-2009 due to its outstanding achievements. This recognition further underscores the importance of responsible tourism as a sustainable model for travel and development.  

Kumarakom stands as a remarkable testament to the transformative power of responsible tourism. The RT project's focus on economic empowerment, cultural exchange and environmental conservation has elevated the village into a model destination for sustainable travel. By involving local communities, preserving cultural heritage and protecting the environment, Kumarakom exemplifies how tourism can be a force for good.

Experience the best of Kumarakom tourism by choosing Rhythm Kumarakom. Our 5-star resort epitomises luxury, sustainability and cultural immersion. Indulge in opulence with our stunning villas and suites overlooking the glistening pool and serene lake. Relish delectable delights at our outdoor multi-cuisine restaurant, Vembanad, offering a gastronomic experience like no other. Enjoy thrilling activities such as bird watching, kayaking and our exclusive House Boat Lunch. At Rhythm Kumarakom, we embrace responsible tourism, ensuring that your stay leaves a positive impact on the environment and the local community. Stay with us for an unforgettable, wholesome experience where luxury meets sustainability.

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