KOCHI: The stakeholders of tourism industry are asking the government to launch aggressive campaigns to promote tourism and woo domestic tourists to the state’s destinations. Though more than 70% of the people in the sector have been vaccinated, domestic tourists keep away because Kerala continues to remain as one of the hotspots of the pandemic.
On Wednesday, Tourism Minister Mohammad Riyas held a meeting with various stakeholders to find solutions to revive the industry which has an annual turnover of Rs 46,000 crore. The state government has announced a special package as loans for the hospitality sector. Many stakeholders say banks are cold-shouldering the appl cants and denying them loans. Kerala Hotel and Restaurants Association patron Sudheish Kumar said the state and the Centre should make joint efforts to ensure the availability of loans for the industry.
“Banks are not interested in giving us loans. Many of us are struggling with liabilities and are unable to make the payments on time due to the pandemic. Banks are citing this as an excuse to deny loans. Both the state and Centre have announced schemes for the industry, however, we are unable to avail them. The government could help us by rolling out these schemes via public sector or state-owned financial institutions,” said Sudheish. He said it’s high time the government popularised the much-lauded Kerala model which helped the state successfully manage Covid.