THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The tourism sector in Kerala constitutes 10 per cent of the state’s GDP; more importantly, it accounts for close to 25 per cent of employment. However, with the global pandemic outbreak bringing the industry to its knees, the gross loss faced by the tourism sector in the state as of August this year has been pegged at a whopping Rs 25,000 crore. In an attempt to provide life support, the Association of Tourism and Trade Organisation of India (ATTOI) with the backing of Tourism Department has launched the ‘Keralam Kanaam’ campaign which aims to offer luxury staycations at affordable rates to resident Keralites.
More than 35 resorts and hotels registered with the dedicated portal, Malayaliyatra.com, have come up with special discounted deals and packages like never before. “Many Malayalis have not experienced what their home state has to offer. Hence, were are making luxury holidays accessible to the public. All the resorts and hotels registered on the website, including 5-star hotels, have slashed their rates to between Rs 4,000 and 5,000 per day,” said P V Manu, secretary, ATTOI.
The initiative is expected to provide a breather to the sector. While the Kerala Tourism Department is already in the works for a major big blast marketing campaign for the post-Covid scenario; the focus, for now, seems to be on propelling local tourism.
Although the marginal tourist movement witnessed among domestic visitors over the past month is promising; the footfall of travellers from other states has been completely nil. “We want the tourists to realise that the Kerala experience inherently comes with social distancing practices. We don’t have many mass tourism spots and activities like houseboat rides, plantation visits, eco-tourism and treks are all catered to a small group of people or families,” said P Bala Kiran, director, Department of Tourism.
IN A NUTSHELL
H25,000 crore loss this year
H45,000 crore turnover in 2019
Wayanad, Kumarakom, Wagamon, Munnar and Thekkady current popular destinations among local tourists for quick getaway