• Kerala Tourism has rolled out a high-tech digital facility that provides visitors all details about the experiential and service packages in the Malabar region to attract tourists to north Kerala.
• A ‘SMiLE (Small and Medium Industries Leveraging Experiential Tourism) Virtual Tour Guide’ conceived by the Bekal Resorts Development Corporation (BRDC) links tourists with their places of attraction and providers of experiential services.
• The SMiLE guide renders information on 40 tourist destinations, ways to reach them, plan tours and fix reminder alarm notification, besides means to share portal material, find accommodation and book rooms.
• The site has also helpline numbers for women and ambulance service.
Important highlights of the SMiLE VTG
• The SMiLE VTG was Malabar’s pioneering comprehensive package for travellers.
• The SMiLE VTG seeks to increase tourist arrivals and generate jobs in the sector.
• The government provided ₹ 50 lakh to the 1995-established BRDC to come up with a tour guide under its new-age means of tourism promotion.
• The SMiLE VTG that is endowed with the latest IT-enabled services has a mobile app which offers location-based information alongside a three-minute video that plays on visiting any place in the Malabar area.
• The audio and video go by the latest trend of storytelling when it comes to providing information on the history, culture and specialities of every tourist location.
• The SMiLE guide works at Android mobile app, QR Code and Website (www.bekaltourism.com) as well.
Mains Paper 3: Science and Technology
Prelims level: SMiLE VTG
Mains level: Read the attached story