KOCHI: To beat the blues the tourism sector has faced following the floods and rat fever, the Tourism Department is organising a car rally from Kochi that is headed out to see the Neelakurinji bloom in Munnar. The rally, part of several campaigns organised by the department to bring tourist inflow back to Munnar, will kickstart from the Durbar Hall Ground at 8.30 am on Wednesday.
Following the flood, there were several cancellations of tourist bookings to Munnar to witness the flowering of the neelakurinji. The government, for its part, started the Visit Kerala, Visit Kurinji and Safe Kurinji campaigns.Kerala Travel Mart Society president Baby Mathew and National Tourism Advisory Council member Abraham George will flag off the rally. Kerala Tourism joint director K P Nandakumar and Idukki Tourism deputy director K S Shine will be present.
Shine said the flood and rat fever hit Neelakurinji tourism badly and now is the time to counter it. “The Neelakurinji season may last for next couple of months and we want to give a message to the world that Munnar is ready to welcome tourists. “To create the maximum impact, we are carrying out campaigns in Ernakulam from where tourists will reach Munnar en mass to see the Neelakurinji. It is the joint effort of government and private agencies,” he said.
Until Tuesday evening, around 120 vehicles had registered for the rally which will reach Munnar at around 6 pm after visiting various tourism destinations in Ernakulam and Idukki districts.