Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Thursday promised better government support to promote the popular kayaking spots in Kozhikode district as adventure tourism destinations.

Speaking after the formal opening of the international kayaking event at Pulikkayam, Mr. Surendran said the Tourism Department would continue to host the annual kayaking championship at the selected spots in Kozhikode district and take efforts to popularise Thusharagiri as a monsoon tourism destination .

He said the government’s direct involvement in the event would help the district host the championship in a well-organsied way every year. Such an effort would also help the district secure a space on the adventure tourism map, he observed.

The Minister said the government would develop the infrastructure at various popular tourism destinations in the Malabar region. Highlighting monsoon tourism potential too would be a priority area, he added.

On Thursday, the qualifying rounds in the slalom (intermediate) category were held at the Chalippuzha. With the kayakers from Nepal and Singapore, local youths trained in the sport too joined the competitions. There were 35 contestants in the slalom category on the second day.

Men’s category

In the men’s category, 12 contestants qualified for the finals. In the women’s category, four qualified. As water rose to a dangerous level following heavy rain, the competition was stopped after 4 p.m. On Friday, slalom rounds under the professionals category would be held at the Pulikkayam and Chalippuzha. Organisers said there would be no events as announced earlier in the Iruvazhinhi river following the rise in the water level.

A 12-member rescue team headed by Chandra Ale of the Nepal-based Rescue 3 South Asia agency is camping at the spot to ensure the safety of the participants. The team comprising expert swimmers from Nepal will remain at the spot till the completion of the event on July 22.

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