KOCHI: The Kerala Homestay and Tourism Society (HATS) on Saturday approached the government to form a Tourism Welfare Fund Board (TWFB) to assist the ailing tourism sector and stakeholders during the lockdown period. According to HATS members, owners of homestays, serviced villas, farm tourism operators and small-scale tourism operators and stakeholders should be included in the TWFB.
M P Sivadathan, director, HATS, said that tourism sector, which generates a revenue of `35,000 crores annually, has been closed for over a month. Several people including those who run homestays at their own homes depend on the sector for their daily bread. “When other sectors are providing welfare fund to its members for surviving the crisis, the tourism sector is yet to have a welfare organisation,” he said.
There are around 500 classified homestays, more than 1,000 non-classified homestays and serviced villas in the state. The welfare fund board can be opened under the Responsible Tourism Mission. A request letter in this regard was handed over to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.