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Kerala Tourism offers visitors 'bio-bubble' as season commences

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on August 10, 2021

To ensure staff at hotels and resorts are vaccinated

Kerala Tourism has rolled out what it calls a 'bio-bubble model' to create protective layers of mostly inoculated service providers to be able to host tourists as the state opens itself for the next season, subject to strict Covid-19 protocols as made applicable by the State government.

Bio-bubbles are sanitised, safe and secure environments where those who receive and serve tourists as well as others likely to come into contact with them are vaccinated, an official spokesman said. The protective ring of the bio-bubble ensures that even the ground staff at the airports are vaccinated.

Bio-bubble cover from airport

From the airport, visitors can drive to their chosen destinations in cabs provided by accredited tour operators whose drivers would also be vaccinated. The same protocol applies to the staff at hotels, resorts or home stays where visitors stay during their holiday, the spokesman said.

Tourism centres re-opened in Kerala on Monday and are now accessible to those who have had the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine or who possess a negative RT-PCR test certificate taken within the previous 72 hours. This applies to hotels, resorts, home stays, houseboats and open spaces of interest.

Targeted campaign launched

Kerala had launched a targeted campaign to vaccinate the entire population in tourism destinations, with Vythiri in upland Wayanad being declared as the first destination to achieve the status. The campaign will soon reach out to all tourist destinations across the state, the spokesman said.

The bio-bubble model forms part of a set of planned and time-bound schemes initiated by Kerala Tourism Minister PA Mohamed Riyas for early revival of the travel and hospitality sector, as it leaves behind the ravages of the pandemic and converts all tourism spots into 100 per-cent safe zones.

“Safety of guests is non-negotiable as far as Kerala Tourism is concerned. The bio-bubble initiative is meant to ensure that the tourists have a risk-free stay here. This is a critical factor for revival of tourism, which has been clobbered by the pandemic," said the Tourism Minister.

Vaccination campaign in resorts

"It was with this larger perspective that we successfully carried out the vaccination campaign covering the entire population in the hill resort of Vythiri. This initiative will tell the world that Kerala is a place where you can holiday safely," the minister added.

This initiative "will enable vacationers to engage in all leisure activities such as walking, stretching and basking under the tropical sun on the beaches, swimming in placid waters, trekking up forest-trails, cruising on the back waters or sauntering through villages with full confidence."

'Bounces back every time'

Venu V, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism, said that Kerala Tourism has outlived grim crises that have battered its infrastructure and economy. "We have proved to be resilient by bouncing back from each. Agreed, the Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented in its sweep and dimension. The best way to come out of it is by setting the highest premium on the safety of tourists,” he added.

VR Krishna Teja, Director of Tourism, said that lockdown-weary people from all corners of the world will seek out safe and healthy places when tourism opens up globally and nationally. Going by our natural assets and advanced social milieu, Kerala has immense scope to tap into this. The safety shield of a bio-bubble will help the state tourism sector prepare for this opportunity."

Published on August 10, 2021

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