Market small for big numbers

As he gets set to take office after the recent Cabinet reshuffle, the newly-appointed Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, Alphons Kannanthanam expresses that India needs to carry its ancient history in stride and reflect the Incredible India tagline through a cleaner and well-marketed country.

NIKHIL ANAND

The Ministry of Tourism recently welcomed the new Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, Alphons Kannanthanam, a retired 1979-batch IAS officer, as he assumed charge of office. The bureaucrat-turned politician from Kerala has added several feathers to his cap during his administrative and political career, and earned the moniker ‘Demolition Man’ as the Commissioner of the Delhi Development Authority for demolishing several illegal constructions in the national capital. Kannanthanam is also known for his strong views on corruption and for pioneering the literacy movement in India by making Kottayam the first 100 per cent literate town in India. Speaking to the media on the occasion, he said, “India is one of the oldest civilisations in the world, with a 5000-year-old history and rich culture. We first have to proudly own this before we encourage more people to discover the country’s beauty. We are so much more of an incredible country and the world needs to see this.” He added that interlinked schemes like the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign and ‘Digital India’ would be key in achieving the vision that will truly reflect the tagline ‘Incredible India’. “I am proud to be a small part of PM Modi’s big dream and we will work to ensure the growth of tourism. With the country’s resources at hand, we need to grow multiple times,” he stated. Kannanthanam, in his own way, has made sizeable contribution to tourism in his state as a civil servant by playing an instrumental role in putting Munnar on the tourism map. “No one was aware of Munnar, not even Keralites!” he reflected. “It finally came on the national, and gradually on the international map after it was developed as a destination. I have travelled to over 60 countries in the world and have observed how the smallest places and cities are marketed. This is what we need to adopt.” Similarly, he claims to have recommended Kumarakom to the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who holidayed at the backwaters during the winter of 2000. It was this high-profile visit that promoted development in the otherwise unknown destination and achieved new found glory for Kumarakom.

“I have travelled to over 60 countries and have observed how the smallest places and cities are marketed. This is what we need to adopt,”Alphons Kannanthanam Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism Government of India

Know your Minister

  • Kannanthanam was one of the toppers of the IAS examinations in 1979
  • He quit the IAS in 2006, and was elected MLA from Kanjirappally in Kottayam district
  • Kannanthanam is also a practicing advocate

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