Thekkady destination promotion council came into existence in the year 2004. The board was constituted of 8 members entrusted with the responsibility of promoting the tourism perspective of Thekkady. Thekkady had gained immense popularity as a promising tourist destination in early 90s and the need for aggressive promotion was felt in early 2000.
The initial attraction for tourists was the scenic boat ride across the Periyar Lake. As time lapsed, numerous satellite destinations surfaced on the tourism map. Further, the sanctuary held in its bosom magnetic venues which suffered due to lack of intense promotion. This consigned Thekkady to the backburner with this prolific place serving as picnic spot or a one night destination. The urgency was felt to turbocharge the potential of Thekkady as a tourist spot so as to attract tourists in large numbers and to make them stay over here for longer durations.
With this in perspective, efforts were undertaken to expand the hospitality base and presently TDPC runs 23 member hotels. Concerted efforts were done earnestly in this direction. An annual confluence of all leading travel agents is convened at Thekkady to offer them rich insights into newer activities for tourists to explore and enjoy. To make them authentically empathize with our endeavours, we take them on a tour to all satellite destinations. The results have been heart-warming and also offered us the insight that anything fruitful can be accomplished by remaining relevant and contemporary. We have been active in the domain of staff welfare also. “Goodwill cricket tournament” between hotels is hosted by us. We have been conducting staff training on diverse topics like knowledge enrichment etc. along with seminars on public issues. Health check-up camps for staff are also organized.
The outcome of our extensive market research demonstrates that certain adverse societal factors attribute to the pathetic condition of Thekkady as a flourishing tourist destination. These factors have now been identified and efforts are being done to work out a decisive solution to mitigate the vulnerabilities. The bottom line is that only a healthy and vibrant society can deliver outstanding service. Societal growth can be accomplished by widening the public reach and interaction. TDPC works in tandem with three other associations at Kumily; the Kerala Vypara ekopana samidi Kumily unit, Kerala home stay association Kumily unit, and home stay association Kumily unit respectively to materialize this vision. The awareness of general public regarding meticulous waste management is raised through seminars conducted with the help of the aforementioned associations.
Thekkady was conferred with 2 prestigious awards in 2015; ‘The responsible tourism award’ and ‘The PATA award for the emerging destination’ respectively. This is indeed a fitting recognition of the exceptional work done by TDPC. TDPC has been assiduously co-ordinating with responsible tourism departments to promote eco-friendly practices and to provide incentives to the local manufacturers of various commodities to step up their activities. It is also overseeing the acceptance of commodities by hotels so that everyone gets a fair deal.
In February 2016, a grand rally was organized to showcase the exemplary honour bestowed on Thekkady. Sri Anil Kumar, the then Tourism Minister, dedicated the award to Thekkady and the same was accepted by the Panchayath president, the RT representative and the representatives from all the associations. Approximately 750 tourism related participants were present.
We also invited an international society called Action break silence to conduct a one day self-defence class for girls. The same had been attended by girls from 5 schools around Thekkady. Monthly meetings of TDPC members are convened to discuss and execute diverse activities intended at harnessing the tourism potential of Thekkady. We aspire to successfully heighten the tourism quotient of Thekkady so that our efforts sustain themselves for generations bearing rich fruits.