Time Magazine has selected Kerala and Ahmedabad from India among the world’s extraordinary destinations.
World travellers are again hitting the road—and the skies. The hospitality industry is reopening and excited to safely welcome them and revitalize local communities post-Covid and God’s Own County Kerala is also ready so that tourists can travel and explore this state to explore it once again. And so Kerala’s sterling efforts to put its famed but pandemic-hit tourism back on track got a major boost with the state featuring in TIME magazine’s 50 extraordinary destinations to explore in 2022.
Lavishing praise on Kerala as one of India’s most beautiful states with spectacular beaches, lush backwaters, temples, and palaces, the magazine noted, “This year, Kerala is boosting motor-home tourism in India to inspire a new pas de deux of exploration and accommodation. The state’s first caravan park, Karavan Meadows, opened in Vagamon, a scenic hill station.”
While noting the success of the state’s houseboat cruising, TIME said caravans are expected to follow suit with a similar promise of sustainable tourism as a large number of campers are expected to traverse the land, giving a fresh and unique way to experience Kerala’s beaches and verdant plantations.
Kerala Tourism Minister Shri PA Mohamed Riyas said, “This is an emphatic recognition of our new initiatives to promote tourism in tune with ecological imperatives and sustainability. We are also making earnest efforts to facilitate tourists to visit unexplored places that dot our scenic state. Featuring in TIME magazine’s world’s greatest places to explore in the ongoing year will give a big push to the state’s continued initiatives to regain its buoyancy in international tourism circuits and promote tourism in a safe and hospitable manner.”
Principal Secretary, Tourism, Shri K S Srinivas said the inclusion of Kerala in TIME’s list is a matter of enormous pride for the state. “The pioneering initiatives like caravan tourism and the upcoming events like the second edition of the Champions Boat League will give a huge fillip to tourism in the state,” he added.
Tourism Director Shri P B Nooh said “Kerala figuring in TIME’s list is an endorsement of the state’s conscious and sustained endeavours to bring into focus the unexplored places that would kindle interest among the tourists. The results have already started showing; that footfalls have increased substantially in the post-pandemic phase.”
To compile this year’s list of the World’s Greatest Places, TIME solicited nominations of places from its international network of correspondents and contributors, with an eye toward those offering new and exciting experiences.
Another Indian destination that has found entry into the list is Ahmedabad city, which is India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City.
The 50 destinations to make the cut include both classic big-hitters and less-explored spots, but what unites them is that they are “thriving, growing and changing,” said TIME, “charting a path to economic recovery” and “investing in sustainability.”
The list also includes Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE; Park City, Utah; Seoul; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; the Grand Canyon of the Arctic Circle, Valencia, Spain; Trans Bhutan Trail, Bhutan; International Space Station; Bogota; Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia; Istanbul; the historic Silk Roads of Uzbekistan; Jamaica; Bali, Indonesia; and Kigali, Rwanda.
(Suman Bajpai is a freelance editor, translator and travel journalist.)