Thiruvananthapuram: The Government of Kerala is promoting caravan tourism in the state with full enthusiasm. And as a result, the efforts are giving results and many tourists are getting attracted to this. Under the Caravan Tourism Project, there are almost 226 caravans and 85 caravan parks that are already registered. This scheme was launched by the tourism department of Kerala.
The applications received to launch the caravans are mostly received by individuals, societies, and tour operators as confirmed by the officials. Although most of the applications were received by all districts, majorly the topping on the list was; Idukki (18 parks), Wayanad (16), and Palakkad (14). Also, A caravan service has already started to function in Kochi. This service is operated and managed by a tour agency in the city. The caravan drops off the pilgrims to Sabarimala from Cochin International Airport.
The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) will inspect all the caravans properly before they start to provide service. Also, the permission to get started with the caravan must be taken from the respective panchayats.
As part of its caravan policy, the government is also offering subsidies to buy new caravans.
According to the caravan policy formulated by the government, subsidies to buy new caravans will also be provided. An official mentioned that a subsidy will be given by the government for 300 caravans. But if under any circumstances, the operator decides to withdraw from providing the service within the coming five years from registration, the subsidy has to be returned.
The government has very carefully structured the way this will work in the future. Notifications to examine the possibility of caravan tourism have been issued by the Tourism Department to all District Tourism Promotion Councils (DTPCs). The notification also instructed the DTPCs to prepare tourism programs related to the caravan parks. Also, as no major costs are involved in setting up the caravan parks, no subsidies will be provided.