Bekal aims to be an international tourist destination by 2015

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Trivandrum: Bekal and its famed 17th century fort are ready to emerge from the periphery of Kerala’s tourism map to take the centre stage as infrastructure projects worth crores of rupees designed to make it India’s first sustainable and planned beach destination get off the ground. Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy will inaugurate an intensive ‘Know Bekal’ promotional campaign on May 10 in Bekal to showcase this pristine destination and its many attractions, both nationally and internationally.

Interacting with the media here today, Tourism Minister, Shri A P Anil Kumar said, “The Bekal Resorts Development Corporation Ltd. (BRDC) is beginning a phase of accelerated development and promotion to make this small coastal town in Kasaragod District an international holiday hotspot over the next three years. The target is to nearly double annual tourist inflows to Bekal from the current 3.2 lakhs to 6 lakhs by 2015”.

The campaign will kick-off in Bekal with a familiarisation (FAM) tour for travel professionals and stakeholder sessions to discuss tourism strategies from May 10 to 12. This will be followed by a series of road shows, open theatres and light and sound displays, in addition to setting up of information kiosks at major destinations and airports, and representing Bekal tourism in international trade fairs.

“The aim of the ‘Know Bekal’ programme is to showcase the rapid transformation taking place in and around the town, including construction of luxury resorts, improvements in transport infrastructure, revamp of beach amenities and backwater tour facilities and the introduction of new adventure, culture and eco-tourism activities”, he added.

BRDC, the authority tasked with the implementation of the Bekal Tourism Project, has acquired and developed more than 230 acres of land for setting up resorts. Bekal will soon boast up to six five-star luxury resorts. Two of them have been commissioned and four are currently under development.

Another flagship programme is an airstrip, with a proposed investment of Rs.100 crore, which will greatly improve accessibility to Bekal. Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has been tasked with carrying out a techno-economic feasibility study for the airstrip.

Mahesh I C, Managing Director, BRDC said, “Creating transport infrastructure is a key priority for tourism development in the area. Discussions are on with the central government to revamp the existing railway station and we also plan to connect Bekal to other tourist destinations in Kerala through the proposed sea plane service.”

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