THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state's tourism sector has suffered a major setback due to the detection of three positive cases of Coronavirus in the state, Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran informed assembly here on Tuesday. He said that the bulk bookings at hotels in the state by the tourists in the months of February and March have been cancelled following the reports.
Surendran also pointed out that the situation is much worse than the situation during the Nipah outbreak in the state. He also raised apprehension about the alarming situation in the tourism industry and he sought a collective effort to overcome this issue.
"When the Nipah virus hit the state, there was huge propaganda in the international tourism circuit to keep away the foreign tourists from visiting the state. Now, we also expect such exaggerated news. But we need to overcome this and to generate awareness that the state welcomes tourists. We have also suffered a setback during the floods. So the tourism sector has been facing various challenges", Surendran said.
February- March period is generally considered as a tourism season where a large number of foreign as well as domestic tourists will visit the state.
Earlier, the sudden outbreak of the Nipah virus in north Kerala had dashed the hopes of the state tourism sector, which was expecting a huge inflow of domestic and Gulf holidayers.
On Monday, the state government has declared the detection of three cases as a 'state calamity' after three students from the state tested positive for the virus, which originated from China's Wuhan city. The coronavirus has killed over 350 people in China in the last four days. All three patients in Kerala are students who returned from China's Wuhan city. They were in physical contact with one another, including travelling together.
So far 140 samples from the state have been sent for testing, of which 46 are negative and three positive. The rest of the results are awaited. Over 2,000 people are under surveillance at their homes in the state for possible exposure to the virus. Seventy people are being monitored in isolation wards across the state.