Kerala Tourism is focusing on promoting soft adventure sports in three places - Vagamon, Muzhappilangad (Kannur district) and Kattil (Kollam district). For this purpose, the tourism board has setup a Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society (KATPS). Speaking exclusively to Financial Express Online, S Harikishore, director, Kerala Tourism stated, “In Vagamon there will be infrastructural development plus operations, while the other two places will have only operations. In these places we have appointed consultants to suggest the best methodology for operations like parasailing, paragliding, hot air ballooning. Simultaneously, we have ordered for hot air balloons, parasails for incubation purposes. We will buy the equipments, form a group, train them and will give it to them for operations so that the group gets support and they can take it forward.”
The second edition of MTB Kerala - International Mountain Cycling Challenge will be held on February 15 at Pozhuthana, Wayanad. Asha Jose, CEO, KATPS, informed that thirteen countries will be participating at the event this year. Last year, the cross-country event was held on the hill tracks of Thenmala forests while the Four Cross (a style of mountain bike race) event was held at Kovalam in November. However, this time around, the government has decided to do away with the Four Cross event in a bid to reduce costs. The event is being conducted with the technical support of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and Cycling Federation of India (CFI). The top bikers will be rewarded a total prize money of INR10 lakh with INR 2.5 lakh for the winner in International and INR 1.5 lakh for the winner in National category.
Kerala Tourism is also organising a Tribal Dance Festival as part of its Responsible Tourism initiative in February. In addition, they will host Kerala Blog Express in March which will witness 25 bloggers from all over India taking part in the event. A global online painting competition for children will also be held this year.