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Tuesday, 23 February, 2021, 14 : 30 PM [IST]
Kerala plans to turn Kannur into North Kerala’s tourism hub

As part of Kerala Tourism’s ambitious plan to pitchfork Kannur as North Kerala’s tourism hub, work will start soon on the INR 52.54 crore first-stage development of the Muzhappilangad Beach, one of the few drive-in beaches in Asia, and the picturesque Dharmadam Beach and Island projects, reports The Hindu Business Line.

The project at an overall cost of INR 233.72 crore is a key ingredient of Kerala Tourism’s aggressive campaign to promote the Malabar region and has immense potential to put Kannur on the world tourism map. Featured by the BBC among the top six best beaches for driving in the world, Dharmadam is surrounded by rivers on three sides and the Arabian Sea on one side. Dharmadam Island offers a picture-perfect view of the confluence of Anjarakandy and Thalassery Rivers.

The development offers a great opportunity to attract a large number of tourists to this stunning destination, which is heavily under-utilising its tourism potential, said Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran.

The estimated footfall owing to the development is estimated to be 1.8 – 2.0 million visitors per annum. This will contribute to augment the GDP of the state, he said adding that the project is anticipated to transform the location and offer development opportunities for other businesses and industries in the region.

With a new international airport at Kannur, the three tourism sites are now accessible by air from major domestic and international tourist destinations.

Muzhappilangad, where more than 30 species of migratory birds including the Pectoral Sandpiper and Caspian Plover visit every winter and Dharmadam, once known as an important Buddhist centre, is located about 27 km from the Kannur International Airport and it takes about 30 minutes to reach the site from the Kannur Railway Station. This makes the site, one of the most accessible tourist destinations.

As the site is substantial in size, a number of activities are possible there to attract tourists. If the zoning is not done appropriately, activities may duplicate or even compete with each other. Thus, it is important to carve out character areas based on the site potential and propose activities related to specific character areas to offer diversified experience to the domestic and foreign tourists, Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran said.

Also proposed are a Giant Wheel and a world-class health resort offering Kerala’s unique Ayurvedic therapies. It will have cottages, rooms and allied international quality facilities to enhance the footfall of domestic, NRI and foreign tourists.

The project is funded by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and executed by the Kerala irrigation Infrastructure Development Corporation (KllDC) Limited as the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). (Source: The Hindu Business Line)