Published on : Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Kerala is thinking about reopening its tourism sector for domestic travelers from September, coinciding with Onam celebrations but it would be done abiding by the Covid-19 protocol, said Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran. The state government also announced a Rs. 455-crore loan scheme to support the sector, which has been affected badly by the pandemic. The minister said, “The plan is to reopen the tourism sector as early as possible. We’ve opened the temples with restrictions. Similarly, tourist centers will also have reasonable restrictions.”
Kerala will follow in the footsteps of Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, which have reopened their tourist spots to domestic travelers. In these states, travelers will need to carry a COVID negative certificate, pre-booking of accommodation and should stay for a minimum of three to five days.
Kerala had opened the tourist destinations for a brief period of time after the general lockdown. However, a lack of patronage along with increase in the virus cases resulted in the closure of the sector, which is a major revenue earner for Kerala. IMA-Cochin president Dr. Rajeev Jayadevan said that for making sure that there is no crowding or mass gathering.
Kerala’s tourism industry is being planned to reopen in a phased manner.
Paulose Mathew, chairman, Kerala chapter of Travel Agents Federation of India, said that the state’s tourism industry is on the verge of a collapse after reduced income for the last 4-5 months.