Thiruvananthapuram: Tourist guides with a thorough understanding of the destinations and excellent language proficiency are a vital component of tourism industry, Minister for Co-operation, Tourism and Devaswom  Kadakampally  Surendran said on Wednesday.

The Minister was speaking after inaugurating a programme to train tourist guides launched by the state Tourism Department at the Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS) here.

“Creating infrastructure facilities to properly host the tourists is the responsibility of the Government. However, what makes their stay enjoyable is the service of tourist guides with a thorough understanding of the respective destination and proficiency in languages”, the Minister said.

Dr Shahi Tharoor MP, who delivered the key-note address at the function, said tourism is the key to the development of the state. Availability of well-trained tourists who can tell the visitors about the salient features and history of the place they are visiting is important in attracting tourists in greater numbers, he said.

Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran said tourists are often attracted to a particular place by the history and legends associated with it. So, good tourists guides have an important role in meeting the demands of the visitors these days.

The course aims at addressing the shortage of well-trained guides to cope up with the ever-increasing flow of foreign and domestic tourists to the state. The programme aims at training 150 licensed regional guides and 50 state level guides. The Tourism Department will provide 50 per cent of the course fee as subsidy for the candidates.

By Manoj

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