Malabar River Festival to make Kerala a top destination for adventure tourism, drawing international attention to the state: Mohammed Riyas

Considering the huge potential of Malabar, the state has been conducting the festival in a grand way so that the footfalls to the region keep rising

The four-day fest from July 25 to 28 is being organized on behalf of the Adventure Tourism Promotion Society (ATPS), District Tourism Promotion Council and Kozhikode District Panchayat with technical help from the Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association. Considering the huge potential of Malabar, the state has been conducting the festival in a grand way so that the footfalls to the region keep rising.

The festival, which is to be held in upstate Thusharagiri, Chalipuzha and Iruvarinjipuzha, will also conduct competitions that seek to encourage local people alongside professionals to excel in kayaking.

According to Minister Riyas, the festival expects the participation of kayakers from 20-plus nations besides 100 professionals from within the country. There will be pre-event programmes such as MTB (mountain bike) water rally, water polo, swimming competitions at the state and national levels, besides fishing-bait contests, rugby and off-road rallies.

“Kerala still has rivers that can host white-water kayaking,” Riyas noted during an online meeting in the run-up to the tenth edition of Malabar River Festival. The participants at the virtual meet included Thiruvambady MLA Linto Joseph, Kerala Tourism Secretary K. Biju, Director Sikha Surendran, Kozhikode District Collector Snehil Kumar Singh, and ATPS Chief Executive Officer Binu Kuriakose besides presidents of eight panchayats and members of civic bodies at the village and municipal levels.

“The Malabar River Festival is capable of boosting white-water kayaking across peninsular India and aims to bring international focus in the sport with huge touristy appeal. The renewed focus on adventure and camping tourism is attracting a wave of visitors to Kerala, which has tremendous potential to emerge as a global adventure and eco-tourism hub. The state government’s focus is on developing world-class infrastructure. Our efforts are to make Kerala the finest destination for thrill seekers and adventure lovers.” Riyas said.