Launch of a community-based tourism entrepreneurship initiative in Udupi district

The initiative plans to connect tourists with local micro-tourism entrepreneurs and women members of self-help groups

The initiative plans to connect tourists with local micro-tourism entrepreneurs and women members of self-help groups

The Udupi Zilla Panchayat has taken an initiative to promote tourism with local participation to encourage local entrepreneurship and empower members of women’s self-help groups.

Community-Based Tourism (CBT), the brainchild of ZP CEO Y. Naveen Bhat, intends to introduce various local art forms, practices and agricultural activities to tourists to enable them to have a first-hand experience. local activities.

The first cohort of these CBT entrepreneurs was launched on Sunday in Malpe in Udupi by “PlaceXplore Lab”, a tourism incubator hosted by The Urban Vision, Red Dot Foundation Global, Udupi Tourism, the ZP and Mangaluru City Corporation with the support of Program Vital Voices Fortune Mentoring Program from the United States Department of State.

Organizers said CBT intends to provide tourists with the experience of an authentic cultural exchange, thereby supporting local projects that directly benefit the community and tourists. Udupi as well as Dakshina Kannada have a range of micro-tourism entrepreneur initiatives, from surf schools to fishing trips, to local coconut craftsmen, pottery, bamboo weaving etc. from Yakshagana, eco-tours, etc. Women from the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), who were trained in self-employment as part of the ZP, were also part of the start-up lab.

NRLM Udupi District Officer Prabhakar Acharya said The Hindu that the Mission mentored Sanjeevini Kala Sinchana comprising artists from Yakshagana, Bharatanatyam, Pardhana, Shiva Thandava, Paddy Beating, Chande, etc. They would be connected to the hospitality industry, currently led by the Welcomegroup of Hotel Administration and Paradise Group of Resorts.

PlaceXplore Lab has developed a digital marketplace with website and app that connects tourists with local CBT entrepreneurs and tourist visitors in Udupi and DK districts. This is currently being launched as a pilot project which will include training for local micro-entrepreneurs in digital skills.

Mr Achar said the NRLM was also training SHG members to become tour guides, whose services could be used by tourists on demand. The development of specialty tourist routes including Mattu Gulla, cultivation of fallow land in Shivapura, etc., was also underway. Mr. Achar said the initiative was the first of its kind in Karnataka.

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