Published on : Thursday, February 13, 2020
The tourism industry in Kerala has been badly hit after the scare of novel coronavirus (nCoV). However, the cruise tourism in the state has remained unaffected as cruise vessels continue to reach Cochin Port.
India’s ground zero in terms of the novel coronavirus, Kerala, has been badly hit where it hurts the most – the flourishing tourism industry of the state.
Famous for their gorgeous mountains, expansive tea estates, tranquil backwaters, and spotless beaches, the tourism potential of Kerala is recognized worldwide. It is a ₹35,000 crore cash cow, offering jobs to almost 1.5 million. Tourism accounts for 40% in revenues of the services sector of the state, the foundation of the economy of Kerala.
Kerala witnessed 1.67 crore visitors in 2019, as per the recent economic survey, regardless of the outbreak of the Nipah and the unprecedented floods in 2018 and 2019 that ravaged the state.
This season, things are slightly different whatsoever.
No longer have the Chinese fishing nets against the Fort Kochi skyline overlooked luxury cruises, while beaches and bars are deprived of customers. Small ferries and houseboats in the backwaters of Kuttanad float at anchor, side by side with the home-stays that employ them, and Kathakali dancers are jobless. The elephants are without job as well..
In Kerala, among the biggest hotel chains, on Wednesday, one witnessed cancellations worth ₹2.5 crore, and another lost businesses worth ₹5 crore previous to this week, as per a state government employee who is entrusted with tabulating data from each district, requesting not to be named.
“Until corona(virus), we were actually seeing great numbers. The December-January peak season had bookings extended till March. But they are either getting postponed or simply cancelled now,” the person said.