Kochi tops Conde Nast Traveller's list of best places to visit in Asia 2024text_fields
London: In a major boost to Kerala's thriving tourism sector, Kochi has claimed the spotlight by securing the top spot in Conde Nast Traveller's prestigious list of the best places to visit in Asia for 2024.
The London-based luxury travel magazine commended Kochi for its innovative sustainable initiatives and vibrant local festivals, highlighting the city's rich history of attracting visitors from around the globe.
Conde Nast Traveller showered praise on Kochi's picturesque waterways, verdant backwaters, lagoons, and rivers, which have been drawing travellers since the 1300s. The magazine spotlighted the city's ground-breaking water metro system, already revolutionary since its launch in 2021, which is set to elevate even further by late 2024 when it becomes fully solar-powered—a pioneering move in the realm of sustainable urban transport.
The city's international airport, CIAL, also made headlines as the first in the world to operate solely on solar energy. Recent upgrades include the introduction of India's largest dedicated business jet terminal, reaffirming Kochi's commitment to sustainable aviation.
Kerala Tourism 2.0, a $43 million sustainable tourism initiative for 2023-2024, aims to enhance infrastructure and travel corridors between Kochi and lesser-explored destinations like Munnar and Kozhikode. The initiative also focuses on promoting local festivals, including the ancient temple gathering of Thrissur Pooram and the renowned Kochi-Muziris Biennale.
State Tourism Minister PA Mohammed Riyas expressed pride in the recognition, emphasizing Kerala Tourism's commitment to balancing commercial growth with sustainability for the benefit of local communities. Tourism Secretary K Biju echoed the sentiment, stating that the state's sustainable initiatives have transformed Kochi and Kerala into welcoming destinations for global travellers.
Conde Nast Traveller also highlighted ongoing improvements at Kochi's historic Ernakulam Market, set to unveil a long-anticipated redesign in early 2024. The magazine acknowledged responsible tourism operator The Blue Yonder for its innovative offerings, including a twilight dining experience inspired by Kochi's historic Chinese fishing nets in 2023 and revamped Nila River voyages focusing on conservation and climate-resilient practices.
Kochi shares the spotlight with other notable destinations on Conde Nast Traveller's list, including Kathmandu Valley (Nepal), Singapore, The Silk Road (Uzbekistan), Kobe (Japan), Bangkok (Chinatown, Thailand), Mongolia, Ras Al Khaimah (UAE), The Red Sea (Saudi Arabia), Da Nang (Vietnam), and South and Central Sri Lanka. The recognition positions Kochi as a leading hub for sustainable tourism and cultural experiences in the vibrant tapestry of Asian destinations.