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April 24, 2018
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Transpersons, differently abled to work for Kerala TourismThey will be among the 1,000 tourism resource persons to be posted under responsible tourism initiative

Kerala Tourism will post 1,000 tourism resource persons (TRP) as part of a responsible tourism (RT) initiative to organise tourism grama sabhas and promote the destination at the grassroots level.

As part of the steps to mainstream the transgender community and create a “just society” for them as envisaged in the transgender policy, a transperson and two differently abled persons each will be among the TRPs to be roped in for the 14 districts.

No previous experience is needed for those from the transgender community and the differently abed to become a TRP. Norms on educational qualifications have been relaxed for them. A pass in Plus Two/ pre-degree will suffice. General applicants will be considered if there are not enough candidates from these sections.

“We want to ensure vibrant participation of the transgender community and the differently abled as it will be a great social value,” Director, Kerala Tourism, P. Bala Kiran told The Hindu.

The move is part of the State Tourism Policy 2017 that envisions active participation of the differently abled and transgenders in promoting tourism. The TRPs have to play a major role at the grass-roots level to achieve the target of 100% increase in arrival of foreign tourists and 50% in domestic tourists by 2022.

“Initially, 750 TRPs in the age group of 18 to 65 years will be roped in through the RT Mission. SSLC is the basic qualification. Even those who have doctorate can apply as weightage is on work experience,” says A. Rupesh Kumar, State RT Mission Coordinator.

A two-day training will be given in Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Wayanad, and Kozhikode from May 3.

“They will be tasked to convene 1,000 tourism grama sabhas being planned in the coming days, take up resource mapping, organise tours, and assist tourism entrepreneurs and investors. They will also act as tour leaders and help promote ‘village life experience tour packages’,” Mr. Kumar said.

Not on rolls

Although they will not be on the rolls of the RT Mission, they will given honorarium for the works from the budget allocation to RT.

Of the 750 TRPs, 60 each will be posted in Thiruvananthapuram, Idukki and Kannur, 55 each in Kottayam, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, and Kasaragod, and 50 each in Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram and Wayanad.