The first major initiative in the post-Covid scenario for Kerala Tourism got wings when the state’s first Caravan Park was opened at the scenic tourism spot at Vagamon in the hilly district of Idukki on Friday.
The Caravan Park features a restaurant with grilling facilities, private rest-house, housekeeping, round-the-clock individual service and campfire, among others.
State Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas, who inaugurated it, said that Caravan tourism is set to redefine the state’s travel industry as an innovative product after houseboats. The concept of Caravan tourism began gaining shape last year as a remedy to the prolonged crisis in the tourism sector caused by the pandemic.
“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 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,” said Riyas, who is the son-in-law of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
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.
To begin with, Karavan Meadows presently has facilities to accommodate two caravans, and envisages accommodation of up to eight caravans soon.
A caravan 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, a bathroom with geyser, berth, partition behind the driver, internet connectivity, audio-video facilities, charging system and GPS.
“We could encourage the segment by providing a subsidy of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh, besides the relaxations the motor vehicles department have now given to the entrepreneurs to buy and operate caravans,” added Riyas.