Kerala may be reopened to tourists from early October

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on September 09, 2020

The proposed roadmap also seeks to highlight the importance of wellness and Ayurveda for building immunity   -  The Hindu

CII-Kerala Tourism Panel presents roadmap to government

Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran has informed the Tourism Panel of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) that the State government is considering to reopen the state for tourism by the first week of October. The State Tourism Department has prepared a detailed report as well as a marketing strategy in this regard.

The proposed roadmap also seeks to highlight the importance of wellness and Ayurveda for building immunity. A file containing these has been presented to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as also the Health Department for their guidance. Thomas John Muthoot, Chairman, CII-Kerala, led the discussions with the State government in this connection.

Promotional help sought

Muthoot also thanked the government for allocating ₹445 crore to the tourism sector during the pandemic period. He said that tourism, which contributes to 10 per cent of the SGDP, had managed to bounce back last year after the historic Kerala floods of 2018 and the State had gone on to record the highest growth rate in tourist arrivals during the last 24 years.

This was because of the promotional activities to attract tourists and the needed policy changes brought about by the State Tourism Department. The CII-Kerala Tourism Panel requested the government for the same level of support this time around, too, as the State prepares to open itself up to tourists from India and abroad.

The key suggestions put forward to the government included opening all tourism activities subject to adherence to safety protocols and advance announcement of a date of reopening, given that individual organisations require time for marketing. Tour operators from different States start campaigns soon for Diwali, while foreign tour operators plan ahead for January 2021. Goa, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra have already resumed tourism activities.

Lift quarantine condition

Tourists should not be mandated to undergo quarantine. Kerala has already permitted exemption for business visitors from quarantine if they return within seven days. A similar exemption should be given to tourists also. The government should also request the State Level Bankers’ Committee to ensure a unified loan restructuring policy across banks, the panel said.

Members of the CII Tourism Panel who participated in the discussion included Jose Dominic, Founder, CGH Earth; EM Najeeb, Chairman, Great India Estates; Baby Mathew, CMD, Somatheeram Group; MR Narayanan, MD, Floatels India; Sejoe Jose, MD, Marvel Tours; Abraham George, Managing Director, Intersight Tours & Travels; Sarat Valsraj, General Manager, Zuri Hotels & Resorts; Riaz Ahmed, MD, Abad Hotels; and Biju George, Director, Overseas Operations, Somatheeram Ayurveda Group.

Published on September 09, 2020

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