THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Frequent hartals have put a dampener on the tourism industry which has recorded 60 per cent loss in revenue in the previous year. For the sector, which was hoping to recover from the losses caused mainly by the floods, the hartal on Thursday dealt a blow.
Several stakeholders including hoteliers, tourist taxi drivers, houseboat owners and homestay owners have been affected. Ever since the Sabarimala controversy rocked the state, several protests have led to mass cancellation and tourist bookings, leaving tour operators in the lurch.
Manu P V, secretary of the Association of Tourism Trade Organisation India (ATTOI) said there has been a huge footfall in the numbers of tourists arriving in the state. "The industry was slowly returning to normal. However, frequent hartals are affecting the livelihood of those in the sector,” he said.
Owing to the hartal, tourist vehicles were operated only in select places.According to officials with a five star hotel in the city, they had to face Rs 2 lakh worth cancellation on Thursday. “Foreigners who arrive in the city usually plan a trip for two to three days. However, the hartal has forced them to remain indoors,” said Manu. Only a few houseboats under the ATTOI operated on Thursday.