Kerala’s Responsible Tourism Mission Earns Global Recognition from UNWTO

November 23, 2023 – Kerala’s groundbreaking Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission has achieved international acclaim by securing a coveted spot on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) esteemed list of case studies. This acknowledgment underscores Kerala’s innovative grassroots development approach and its alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Commending Kerala Tourism, the UNWTO praised the state’s commitment to the SDGs and its effective utilization of local resources to elevate responsible tourism destinations. Kerala now stands alongside Maharashtra as the two Indian states recognized by the UNWTO for showcasing exemplary projects, placing them among the distinguished seven G20 nations globally.

Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas commended the state’s initiative in promoting sustainable and inclusive tourism, highlighting the international interest generated by Kerala’s endeavors. The UNWTO recognition serves as a testament to Kerala’s dedication to global sustainable tourism practices.


Department of Tourism Secretary K. Biju expressed optimism that the international honor would inspire the state to expand the responsible tourism model and boost local industries. Kerala Tourism Director PB Nooh emphasized the UNWTO Citation as a significant milestone following the state’s hosting of the first-ever Responsible Tourism Global Summit in February.

This global recognition coincides with the Kerala RT Mission receiving the Global Award in the ‘Best for Local Sourcing – Craft and Food’ category. The award, conferred by the Responsible Tourism Partnership and International Centre for Responsible Tourism, acknowledges Kerala’s sustainable and women-inclusive initiatives.

State Coordinator of Kerala RT Mission, K. Rupeshkumar, sees these honors as endorsements of the mission’s relentless efforts toward overall socio-economic development alongside tourism initiatives. The UNWTO Citation and the Global Award contribute to Kerala’s solid presence on the world tourism map, reinforcing its commitment to responsible and sustainable tourism practices.