''Farm tourism''- Kerala’s new attraction

Kerala, Jan 31: A Kerala village has made a cocktail of its hospitality with the traditional way of farming to attract more tourists, creating a heady concoction called 'Farm Tourism'.

With astounding scenic backwaters and breathtaking beauty, the 'God's own country' is already one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world. But Kerala also has lush green countryside that is being promoted as the latest attraction.

Around 24 university students from the United States of America (USA) are literally toiling their way to experience the traditional way of farming in Kuzhoor village of the Kerala.

As a part of an educational tour to learn Indian culture, tradition and various art forms, students of Virginia University are scheduled to spend three days learning the art of traditional farming.

They sweat from morning till evening, ploughing the fields using oxen, fill water with the help of wooden rollers wheels, spray fertilizers and sow paddy saplings. But the students are happy with the interesting experience they are getting.

“Its very interesting to actually get experience in another country because we talk a lot about it but its important actually to do hands on work and talk to people and understand their lives more,” said Andrea bowman, a student.

The tour operating company, New Indian Voyages, which had conceptualized the unique concept says they had received inquires from various other universities as well.

“Because of University courses like this the villagers are planning to replant this paddy field because they are expecting more people to interact with foreigners again and again,” said Francis Paul Kandamkulathy, New Indian Voyages.

Apart from generating profits for tourism industry, these tours provide a means of livelihood for the locals as well. But these tours are more popular with foreign tourists than in the domestic tourist circles.

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