Kerala is set to have around 353 caravans and 120 caravan parks as part of Keravan Kerala, the government’s caravan tourism initiative, giving a major thrust to the post-pandemic revival of tourism and enhancing the state’s reputation as a global destination, Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas said.
“Already potential investors have registered, evincing interest in setting up 120 caravan parks, while 353 entrepreneurs have registered for running caravans in the state,” the Minister said while inaugurating the state’s first Caravan Park at the scenic Vagamon in this hill district.
“We could encourage the segment by providing a subsidy of INR 2 lakh to 7.5 lakh, besides the relaxations the Motor Vehicles Department gave to entrepreneurs to buy and operate caravans,” Riyas said.
Karavan Meadows, developed by Adrak Hotels and Resorts and managed by Citrine Hospitality Ventures is part of the stakeholder and tourist friendly Caravan Tourism policy announced by the government five months back. Throwing it open to travellers marks a new chapter in Kerala Tourism’s endeavour to firmly position the state as a safe holidaying hub.
The Minister reached the newly developed caravan park situated at Nallathanni, Vagamon on a tourist caravan from the Vagamon Adventure Park.
Caravan tourism is set to redefine the state’s travel industry as an innovative product after houseboats, Shri Riyas said. The concept of Caravan Tourism began gaining shape last year as a remedy to the prolonged crisis in the tourism sector amid Covid-19.
“The new product is set to boost the state’s tourism industry. It will also bring to light several destinations that have so far remained unknown despite their potential to attract visitors,” he said.
The high-range Idukki will be the district that will benefit the most out of Caravan Tourism as it can put several unexplored places in the area on the tourist map, Shri Riyas added.
Idukki MP Shri Dean Kuriakose, while calling for concerted efforts in the field, emphasized the importance of rejuvenating tourism to overcome the turmoil triggered by the pandemic over the last two years.
Peerumedu MLA Shri Vazhoor Soman said Caravan tourism would specially benefit Idukki district, known for its wildlife and scenic beauty. Other speakers at the function were Kerala Tourism Director Shri V.R. Krishna Teja IAS, Elappara Panchayat President Smt Nithya Edwin, Shri Nandakumar, Group Director, Adrak Hotels and Resorts and Shri Prasad Manjaly, Director, Citrine Hospitality Ventures.
To begin with, Karavan Meadows presently has facilities to accommodate two caravans, and envisages accommodation of up to eight caravans soon. The hotel already has two four-seater Benz caravans.
A caravan, typically air-conditioned, has all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay such as sofa-cum-bed, TV, kitchenette with fridge and microwave oven, induction heater, cupboards, generator, dining table, toilet cubicle (bathroom with geyser, berth, partition behind the driver, internet connectivity, audio-video facilities, charging system and GPS.
The caravan park features a restaurant with grilling facilities, private rest-house, housekeeping, round-the-clock individual service and campfire, among others.