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WELCOME

Thenmala- The First Planned Eco Tourism centre in Asia

MEANING
Ecotourism is a new concept in tourism. It is a purposeful travel to natural understand the cultural and natural environment, taking care not to alter the the ecosystem, while ensuring opportunities that make conservation resources beneficial to local people.

areas to history of integrity of economic of natural

DEFINITION

The term ecotourism was created and popularized by Hector Ceballos-Lascurain in 1983, and was initially meant to describenature-based travel to relatively undisturbed areas with an emphasis placed on education. His concept has matured to a scientifically based approach to the planning, development, and management of sustainable tourism products and activities. According to UNWTO ecotourism can be defined as tourism that involves traveling to relatively undisturbed natural areas with the specified objective of studying,admiring and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals as well as any existing aspects found in these areas

ECO PRACTIES IN TOURISM: THE KERALA MODEL


Tourism industry consists of many sub sectors like hospitality industry,tour operation business,travel agency business etc. Eco friendly practices are required for each sub sector of the industry to become sustainable. Kerala tourism sets practices for each subsecter to become eco-friendly and is named as eco initiative (eco-kerala).This programme has already been initiated for the hospitality industry,wich provides different certificates like Ordinary,Club and Diamond member on the basis of the fulfilment of certain condition specified

ESSENTIAL CONDITIONS
Local plants/herbal/medicinal garden in hotel premises Efforts for water conservation Purchase of local farm products Employing energy saving methods and equipment

NECESSARY CONDITIONS
Celebration of important environment days Designated official for Environment management Environmental Audits Adoption of wastewater treatment Adoption of solid waste management system Employing energy saving methods Use of energy saving equipment Efforts for water conservation

DESIRABLE CONDITIONS
Use of traditional designs and local building materials Use of organic fertilizers Use of renewable sources of energy Steps to sensitize guests on energy saving Use of non-polluting internal transport system Environment focus in marketing
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ELEMENTS OF ECOTOURISM

* Active participation * Nature based * Progressive educational travel * Interpretation of natural environments * Social and cultural components * Involvement and returns for the local community * Managed to be ecologically and environmentally sustainable

ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF ECOTOURISM


It is inherently very small It is more active than other forms of tourism Less realiance on sofisticated infrastructure Undertaken by travellers who are well aware about the destination and its features Ecotourism always protect local culture and tradition

THENMALA ECO-DESTINATION

Thenmala in Kerala is the first planned ecotourism destination in Asia. Predominantly a forest area, Thenmala is a small village, located at the foothills of the Western Ghat Mountains. Thenmala is about 72 km from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, (God's Own Country), the southern most state of India. The name Thenmala is derived from two words - 'Then' & 'Mala", in local parlance "Then" means honey and "Mala" means hillock i.e. 'honey hills'.

FACILITIES IN THENMALA
Facilities such as boating in the Sanctuary reservoir, boardwalk, sculpture garden, amphitheatre, Musical Dancing Fountain, etc. are offered at Thenmala for soft ecotourists. An Environmental education and interpretation center is also being set up at Thenmala.

LOCATION MAP

ECO-DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEES (EDCS).


Any conservation project needs co-operation and co-ordination among stakeholders. Here, this project has institutionalized by establishing coordination among Tourism, Forest and Wildlife and Irrigation departments, along with Local bodies. The local community support for ecotourism products are institutionalized by ensuring cooperation of different committees at the local level which is been called as the Eco-Development Committees (EDCs).

THENMALA ECO TOURISM PROMOTION SOCIETY (TEPS)

Thenmala Ecotourism destination has been designed and developed by the Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society (TEPS), a Government of Kerala undertaking, which was established in 1998. The society was formed to promote ecotourism activities at Thenmala and its surroundings

THE OBJECTIVES OF THIS PROJECT ARE

To develop Thenmala and its surroundings as a major tourism destination. To promote ecotourism on the basis of sound principles of ecological sustainability in the surrounding areas of Thenmala; and To have a well planned tourism destination with emphasis on sustainable tourism development so as to become a model for other destination development programmes.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

Environmental education is an area, which the project gives a lot of importance through providing classes to students, special concession for educational institutes, celebrating various environmental days in co-ordination with local educational institutions

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

Local community participation is envisaged through supporting the local women, self help groups for

opening shops and cafeteria within the project area, training local youth for utilizing opportunities of self employment, supporting community led ecotourism products like management of waterfalls within the forest area, conduct of bird watching trails, trekking programs, butterfly watch etc.

REDUCING NEGATIVE IMPACTS

TEPS designed its activities so as to minimise the negative impacts of the project.The sustainability issues are addressed through

the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), regular monitoring and practicing wormi-composting techniques, battery powered vehicles, use of solar lamps, zoning of site, use of site hardening techniques.

TEPS PROVIDES FACILITIES FOR VISITORS; It provides facilities for visitors and will be taken care of by its well-trained staff providing guidance and information about the various attractions and facilities, enabling one to move about, explore and experience every bit of this remarkable destination. There are well-placed signboards, direction pointers, and information boards to facilitate one's movement inside the project area. Divided into different zones with a particular theme, the project area currently has three major zones viz. Culture Zone, Leisure Zone and Adventure Zone.

IMAGE OF ZONING

CULTURE ZONE

This zone is entirely dedicated to exhibit the culture and tradition of Kerala to the outside world. The Culture Zone hold various activities and events, which is in favour of Ecofriendly General Tourism. The Zone has restaurants, selling outlets, amphitheater, etc. which plays a major role in helping the tourists understand the Kerala lifestyle. An open air Musical Dancing Fountain which is considered, as "Natures Dance" is another major attraction here.

LEISURE ZONE

The Leisure Zone inspires the tourists to explore the inherent qualities of the zone - the drastic level changes, favorable views etc. The boardwalk and the Hanging bridge, the sculpture garden, water features etc are the additional attractions here.

ADVENTURE ZONE

This zone is entirely for the adventure lovers. The activities in this zone favours adventure tourism. The attractions in which one can indulge into are the Elevated Walkway, the Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, River Crossing, Nature Trails, Resting Spots, Lotus Pond, etc.

THENMALA ECOTOURISM WON THE PRESTIGIOUS

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold award for 2003-2004 and the National Tourism Awards for the most Eco-friendly Organization (2001-2002) and Best Ecotourism Practices (2003-2004). The World Tourism Organisation (WTO) has Incorporated Thenmala Ecotourism Project in the Publication Sustainable Development of Ecotourism: A Compilation of Good Practices in SMEs. Accordingly, there are about 64 good practices from 47 countries world wide and Thenmala Ecotourism is the only project that has been included from Asia as of now.

IMPORTANT RESOURCE IN THENMALA

Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary was established for the conservation of a most important endemic and endangered tree species called Gluta travancorica (locally known as shenkurinji). This tree has got high medicinal properties, which can control arthritis, blood pressure. This tree is the conservation focus of Thenmala Ecotourism.

DEER REHABILITATION CENTRE

This centre was established to protect and conserve the deer that are strayed out from forests. You will find - Spotted deer, Sambar deer, Barking deer here. There are Tree Top Huts, Children's ecopark, Short Riverside trek in the Deer Park.

THENMALA DAM

Thenmala (Parappar) Dam is a centre of attraction at Thenmala, the pioneer ecotourism destination. Built under the Kallada Irrigation and development project, it is the second largest irrigation project in Kerala (India). The dam has the longest reservoir in the State. Water from the reservoir is now used for power generation also.

Thenmala reservoir Boating in the reservoir.Tickets can be purchased at the eco-tourism centre. Tourists will be taken to the boarding point in a battery-powered van. people can ride together in the boat through the reservoir. It is a pleasant experience to sail through the reservoir which is the longest in the State. The trees of Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary line up on both sides of the reservoir.

PALARUVI FALLS

The Falls is situated at a distance of 16 km from Thenmala towards Shenkottah and drops down to 300 ft in height amidst tropical evergreen forests,providing a beautiful feast for the eyes.

MUSICAL DANCING FOUNTAIN

A synchronized rhythmic ballet of water, sound and light located in the natural surroundings. Such a natural ambience is very rare and hence provides a unique experience.

BUTTERFLY SAFARI

An abode of the butterflies in an open ambience. A garden of host plants for the butterfly has been created enabling the large number of butterfly species of the region to thrive. A guided walk (Safari) along the nature trail of the garden will provide the visitor an opportunity to sight the butterflies and to learn about the butterflies

IMAGES OF THENMALA

REFERENCES

TOURISM AND DEVELOPMENT design for ecological sustainability _J.K.SHARMA - WWW.ECOTOURISM.CO.IN PROMOTINGTOURISM IN INDIA kranti p. sawrkar subodh kumar mishra

GENERAL INFORMATION
CLIMATE Hottest months-March to May Coldest months December & January. Max Temp. : 39degreeC. Daily Temp. : varies from 17deg.C to 35deg.C. Rainfall : Southwest Monsoon:May-Aug ext to Sep Northeast Monsoon:late Sep, Oct & Nov 2600 3000 mm (Average)