Unesco deal to promote ‘Spice Route’

August 02, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

Kochi: Kerala Tourism yesterday signed an agreement with Unesco to cooperate in promoting and protecting the ancient ‘Spice Route’.

“The project is a new milestone in the growth of tourism in Kerala. It is a revival of the ancient route that connected 31 countries,” state Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar told reporters.

He said the project needs the support of all 31 countries to be a success and the state has sought the cooperation of Unesco.

Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa and Unesco Director and representative to India, Shigeru Aoyagi, signed the MoU to formalise cooperation in cultural heritage protection and promotion in the state.

Kerala and Unesco will also mobilise bilateral and multilateral collaboration with the other countries.

“The project has great potential for promoting world peace and inter-faith tolerance, apart from contributing to the sustainable development of the countries involved,” Aoyagi said.

In the long-run, Unesco aims to put the ‘Muziris Heritage’ project and the ‘Spice Route’ project on the World Heritage List,” he said.

The ‘Spice Route’ tours, which will be promoted internationally, are expected to give a spurt to foreign tourist arrivals in Kerala. The state is also expected to witness a conference of ambassadors related to the route countries. “We are working with Unesco to organise a culinary festival in which chefs from all 31 countries linked to the route will reinvent different culinary traditions of their countries,” said Billa.

Several countries, particularly European nations like Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, have shown great interest in the initiative.