Kerala yet to seea surge in foreign tourist arrivals

 Saturday, October 15, 2022 


Kerala is yet to see a surge in foreign tourist arrivals after the pandemic in spite of energetic campaigns by the state Tourism Department. The season, commencing from October-November, will last till February end. However, the booking tendencies in the hospitality industry don’t look quite promising, said the industry stakeholders.

Several cancelations of bookings to India by British vacationers were witnessed after a recent alteration in visa rules which made it compulsory for the candidate to appear in person at the visa centers in the U.K. to apply for tourist visas to India. Additionally, India is yet to reinstate e-tourist visas for the U.K., which brought in a massive decline in bookings, said James Kodianthara, the chairman of the Kerala chapter of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO).

Currently, there is a two-month interruption in receiving a normal visa to India. Mr. Kodianthara said that in such a situation, there would be few who would risk a visit to India. The lack of e-visa services will also take a toll on tourist arrivals from countries like Canada and Saudi Arabia among others.

E.M. Najeeb, the senior vice president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators said that the financial disorder in Europe after Russia’s attack on Ukraine has also reduced the projections of tourist influx to Kerala.

In the pre-pandemic times, Kerala had recorded a record footfall of 11.89 lakh, primarily supported by travelers from the UK.

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