In what is likely to add muscle, further diversifying Kerala’s tourism landscape and rejuvenating traditional folk-art forms, the state tourism department is organising ‘Utsavam 2018’. The event will be organised across all 14 districts of the state from January 6 to 12. The tourism festival is slated to be organised in all districts by the respective District Tourism Promotion Councils at 28 venues this time around, as compared to the 14 venues where the festival was organised last year. Also, a sum of over two crores and thirty lakhs has been earmarked to be spent for the festival this year, the minister shared, adding that a sum of one crore had been added this year to the amount set aside last year.
Commenting on the event, Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Devaswom, Government of Kerala expressed hope that the event would put spotlight on state’s tourism offerings and add to its brand value as a preferred tourist destination. “Utsavam 2018 being organised during the tourism season would also mean more visibility and mileage to Kerala Tourism and this is expected to add more charm to the department’s activities,” he said, giving insight in to the rationale behind the undertaking.
P. Bala Kiran, Director, Kerala Tourism argued that by increasing the number of venues to 28 from last year’s 14, the department wanted to expand the scope of staging folk arts shows not just in district centres but also in more places in Kerala. “Utsavam 2018, which will have more than 5000 artists performing in various venues, is expected to provide more fillip to the Kerala Tourism scenario,” he said.
The state level inauguration of Utsavam 2018 will be held in Kannur on January 6 by the tourism minister. A gala inaugural ceremony with stage performances have also been planned. It is expected that around 150 art forms, 350-plus folk arts shows, and more than 5000 artists will come together for ‘Utsavam 2018’, bringing Kerala’s traditional and ritualistic art forms under one roof.