Educational Centre for Ecotourism in Kerala, India
Together with the Kerala Institute of Travel and Tourism Studies, EplerWood International conducted a multi-stakeholder analysis to explore the potential for a new International Institute of Ecotourism Development in the state of Kerala. A very proactive government combined with a unique private sector strongly oriented toward sustainability, made Kerala an excellent potential centre for ecotourism training. The state currently operates a very successful park system. The Periyar Reserve features excellent management of trails and ecotourism, and very knowledgeable native peoples working as guides while also managing a local museum and harvesting renewable resources in the forest, such as black pepper. As the Senior Ecotourism Development Specialist, EplerWood International designed a stakeholder workshop to explore the different opportunities to create an educational destination for students throughout Asia that are seeking to learn more about ecotourism. The government in Kerala changed and with it the strategy for an education centre was incorporated into other initiatives.