Kerala’s stakeholder-friendly Caravan Tourism project has elicited keen interest from foreign and domestic buyers attending the ongoing 11th edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), the country’s largest tourism sector conclave.

The models of tourist caravans were displayed at the entrance of the four-day travel and hospitality sector conclave. Many business delegates from across the world attending KTM-2022 made detailed inquiries about the project, including the incentives being offered by the Kerala Government.

Branded as ‘Keravan Kerala’, many of them said it was an upfront product that would fast-track the post-pandemic tourism revival of Kerala by attracting visitors from across the world, and other states of the country.

The conclave, which has brought together business delegates from 69 countries and 25 Indian states to discuss and clinch business decisions, showcased three feature-laden caravans custom-made by Bharat Benz and Isuzu Motors.

The State’s Caravan Tourism Policy promises many incentives to caravan operators and developers of caravan parks. Kerala Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas had opened Kerala’s first caravan park at Vagamon in Idukki district in February 2022.

“In comforts and quality, the caravans presented by Kerala flaunt high standards. These are much more self-contained vehicles than the normal tourist caravans found in Europe”, said Magdalena Lubenova from Bulgaria.

Going by its specific features, Kerala’s Caravan Tourism policy is an ideal model for other states, said Gurmukh Singh from Delhi.

“The caravans featured by Kerala will redefine high-end tourism. The number of highly-paid youths are increasing in the country. They will find caravan tourism as an attractive get-away whenever they take a break from their hectic professional life. This will also open up lot of opportunities for youngsters,” he said.

Samir Vora from Mumbai said that caravan tourism has tremendous potential in India. Caravan Tourism has proved a big success in Maharashtra. “But the quality of tourist caravans unveiled in Kerala is really good,” he added.

“No doubt, the caravan safari will provide a customised experience to tourists coming to Kerala. This is the most ideal way of enjoying the unsurpassed beauty of our state by travelling and staying close to the nature. The project will also generate plenty of job opportunities across the state,” said Baby Mathew, President, Kerala Travel Mart Society, the organisers of KTM.

The Bharat Benz’s caravan, which accommodates four persons, has features such as a power-managed sofa, two double-beds, toilet, bathroom, kitchen, inverter and generator.

State Bank of India (SBI) has introduced a scheme to provide loans for the purchase of tourist caravans. Since the subsidy component accounts for 15 per cent of the price of the vehicle, the bank will provide an 85 per cent loan for each purchase. The bank has also set up a special stall at the KTM venue for promoting the scheme.