KOCHI: Observing that the frequent strikes in Kerala were a huge dampener for the revenue-generating tourism industry in the state, the Kerala Travel Mart Society (KTM) on Sunday urged political parties and other organisations to exclude tourists and tourism-related activities from yet another shutdown on Monday.
KTM president Baby Mathew said the proposed hartal on Monday will immensely inconvenience people visiting Kerala as they would be stranded at airports and railway stations.“Kerala relies heavily on tourism and the money-spinning sector will be severely affected by hartals. In fact, strikes are the most unwelcoming gesture we can make to tourists visiting the state. Forcibly shutting down all activities is not desirable for any state, especially ours. It will convey a wrong message to the outside world which will weaken the tourism industry in Kerala,” he said.
If the hartal trend continues, it will prevent investors and industrialists from setting up their enterprises in Kerala as there is no guarantee for the safety of their workers and belongings, Mathew said.“Also, the tourists would find it unpalatable to visit the state again as they are left stranded on a hartal day without food and adequate transport,” he said.
Mathew said it took around 25-30 years of hard work for the tourism industry to achieve the current level of growth in the state. In 2017, Kerala recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals in the past nine years, with a 10.94 per cent rise than the previous year.
Mathew said frequent strikes were adversely affecting the tourism industry, and urged all political parties to make collective efforts to exclude tourists and tourist-related activities for ensuring unhindered growth of the tourism sector.