Giving a major impetus to ‘Keravan Kerala’, the state government’s unique initiative to promote stakeholder-friendly Caravan Tourism, auto major BharatBenz today rolled out a spanking new and features-laden vehicle, which is the first of its kind in the coach industry for the tourism sector.
The customised stylish vehicle, equipped with all the trappings for a smooth ride and comfortable stay, was jointly launched by Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas and Transport Minister Antony Raju at a function in the city.
Speaking on the occasion, Riyas said, “Caravan Tourism is going to provide the much-needed energy to the relentless efforts of Kerala Tourism to explore the unexplored destinations. This initiative will set a new trend in experiential tourism in the state. Besides generating plenty of job opportunities, caravan parks would also become cultural hubs for clusters of panchayats where local communities could showcase their heritage and products.”
“When the idea was first mooted, the Transport Department responded to it positively. A workshop jointly conducted by Department of Tourism and the Motor Vehicle Department for officials recently deliberated and came to broad agreements on key issues like tax reduction and the procedures for inspection of caravans,” Riyas added.
Noting that this is a mega project between Tourism and Transport departments, Shri Antony Raju said registered caravans will be given a special logo so that they will have hassle-free passage through green channel by avoiding unnecessary on-road checks.
“The launch of caravan tourism has opened a new chapter in Kerala’s tourism industry after the state made it big with houseboats three decades back. The Transport Department extends its full support to Kerala Tourism for the success of this initiative,” the Minister added.
Tourism Director V R Krishna Teja and Transport Commissioner M R Ajith Kumar attended the function.
The BharatBenz Caravan, unleashed from Diamler Buses’ global arsenal, is backed by its globally proven technology and unmatched reliability. The powerful engine of 170 BHP (brake horse power) ensures a cozy and bump-free ride for the travellers and also offers best-in-class suspension, anti-roll bars, anti-lock braking system (ABS), and tubeless tyres for immaculate safety.
The vehicle is fully compliant with the latest emission standards and built-in comforts like air-conditioned lounge area with comfortable seats, infotainment system, fully equipped kitchen with all essential appliances, washroom with shower, and a spacious bedroom with a double bunk bed. Also included is an option for outdoor seating with an awning.
Rising to the preferences of tourists in the post-pandemic world, Kerala last month announced its comprehensive, stakeholder-friendly Caravan Tourism Policy, promising a safe, customised and closest-to-nature travel experience to the visitors.
The policy, to be implemented in a PPP mode, marks a paradigm shift in almost three decades after houseboat tourism firmly put the state on the global tourism map. It assures attractive operational incentives for the caravan operators. It has also pledged various institutional supports for the smooth setting up and running of Caravan Parks.
In addition, the initiative offers big opportunities for investors to operate specially-built caravans for travel, leisure and stay. It also envisages a key role for a host of stakeholders, including local self-government institutions, to set up eco-friendly Caravan Parks across the state that would enable the visitors to spend a night or a day or for an extended period to explore the destination of their choice.
Additional Transport Commissioner Pramoj Sankar. P.S; Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Ltd (KTIL) Chairman and Managing Director Shri KG Mohanlal; Daimler Commercial Vehicles Vice President (Sales, After Sales, and Marketing) Rajaram Krishnamoorthy; and Autobahn Trucking Vice President (Sales and Marketing) Arun VK were also present.