Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar will inaugurate the Visitor Facilitation Centre (VFC) at Park Avenue Road on Wednesday at 3 pm.The VFC is an initiative by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC)
as the ‘one stop shop for all tourism services’. District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth said the VFC will function as a one-stop-shop for all travel and tourism services, including Railway reservation, foreign exchange services, in-bound tourism services, out-bound tourism services and tourism investment support services.
The VFC is aimed at bringing all travel and tourism services under one roof for the first time in the history of DTPCs in Kerala.
The DTPC will collaborate with the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), Thenmala Eco-tourism Promotion Society (TEPS), Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC) and Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation for the project.
According to the Collector, the Ernakulam DTPC had submitted a project report to the Department of Tourism to remodel the DTPC information office as a state-of-the-art visitor facilitation centre to provide best professional service to the tourists.
“The Department of Tourism gave administrative sanction for `35 lakh. An amount of `25 lakh was sanctioned for interior furnishing.
Charles Dias MP had allotted railway passenger reservation facility to DTPC and a special counter was built by utilising the vacant space near the DTPC office. An ATM has also been set up in association with HDFC Bank,” he said.The collector said the in-bound tourism services include tour packages in Kerala and beyond, air/rail/cruise/coach reservations, helicopter services, homestay reservations, hotel/resort bookings, daily village backwater cruises and Muziris heritage tour package. The Kari island village visit package is the major attraction in daily village backwater cruise.
Outbound tourism services include tour packages outside India and visa arrangements.
“Marvel Tours Private Limited has been selected as the service provider for inbound tour and selection of the service provider for outbound tour is under process,” the collector said.
He added that everything is set to start a tourist helicopter service to select destinations from Kochi. “A private firm will operate this. But government will make sure that only a reasonable fare is charged,” he said.