Chennai, August 16 (BPNS)
Tamil Nadu Wilderness Experiences Corporation which is functioning under the state forest department and the state tourism department has joined hands to promote eco-tourism in the state. The tourism arena in the state was facing severe backlash with many tour operators and those who lives dependent on the sector shutting shops and scouting for new avenues following the intense lockdown following back to back Covid-19 pandemics.
Immediately after the state government has opened up the markets and Covid restrictions lifted, the tourism and forest departments have chalked out plans for promotion of eco-tourism on large scale.
The forest department has, according to officials have already identified five eco-tourism projects in the state and would be associating with the state tourism department to streamline and execute the project.
The idea, according to the forest department official is to get revenue for both forest and tourism departments as the potential of trekking and eco-tourism is on a high in the country and the state has already opened up trekking albeit at a minimum level since the past ten years.
While the trekking and other eco-tourism and adventure tourism activities have commenced in the state for the past ten years, these were mainly confined to hill stations and even the department of tourism had not properly promoted this.
The state is trying to provide package eco-tourism programmes which include trekking, jungle safaris, guided tours, and adventure tours with the support and guidance of the forest and tourism departments.
It is learned that the Chief Minister himself who is an avid health enthusiast has given the go-ahead to the department of tourism and department of forests to promote eco-tourism including trekking and adventure tourism. A senior forest official who is part of the policymaking document while speaking to BPNS said, “We have already convinced the tourism department seniors as well as our department heads that if the infrastructure is proper, we will get a lot of domestic tourists and foreigners and this would be a beginning of a large number of foreign tourists coming to Tamil Nadu.”
Arjun Anand, a professional in jungle tourism while speaking to BPNS said, “The joining together of forest and tourism department is giving a safety factor to the tourists especially if we are pitching in international markets. However, for the entry of foreign tourists in large numbers, we need proper campaigning across renowned tour operators and tour guides. As the government is promoting the package, there will be a sense of relief for foreign tourists as the security aspect is taken care of if the government is part of the package.”