In what would prove to be a huge relief for the thousands of visitors who throng Kochi every year, the Tourism Department is launching a full-fledged visitors’ centre in Ernakulam. The centre will be a one-stop shop to meet all the accommodation, transport and information needs of the tourists.
The centre is set to come up on the ground floor of the DTPC office. A Railway Reservation Counter, Foriegn Money exchange counter, Business Centre, Conducted Tours Desk, Reservation of Accommodation, Exclusive Booking counter for Homestays, Reservation facility for flights and cruises and ATMs are some of the facilities that will be made available at the Centre.
The Tourism Department is also planning to set up a Tourism Help Desk for Small and Micro enterprises in the tourism and hospitality services, at the centre.
“The state government has focused upon quality visitor experience in this year’s Tourism Policy. The visitors’ centre is a step in this direction. As many as 43 per cent of foreign tourists and 23 per cent of domestic tourists to Kerala visit the Ernakulam district. But we do not have any dedicated centre where we can meet the various requirements of the tourists or help them. It is after taking this into consideration that we have come up with the initiative,” District Tourism Promotion Council, Secretary, T N Jayasankar said.
District Collector P I Sheikh Pareeth, who is also the chairman of the DTPC, visited the area and finalised the venue. The construction work has been entrusted to the Forest Industries Travancore Limited. The Southern Railway has sanctioned the Railway Reservation counter which will be placed outside the DTPC building and funds have already been sanctioned under the MPLADS of Charles Dias MP, for the facility.