A survey will be conducted seeking the possibility of offering job opportunities through tourism for people in the state’s flood-hit areas even as the August calamity has not damaged the infrastructure facilities in the sector, Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said on Friday.
“Students of Kerala Institute Tourism and Travel Studies(KITTS) will conduct the survey among the natives in this regard. It will help bring more people to the tourism sector,” he said at the Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) here.
“The government conducted a “Readiness Survey” from September 1 to know if we are ready for receiving tourists. The study’s report published on September 15 revealed that 80 per cent of the centres were back on track,” the minister told the media at the tenth edition of KTM at Willingdon Island.
Also, connectivity in all areas, including Pathanamthitta and the hill station of Gavi, has been restored on a war-footing.
Stressing that the tourism is one of the priority areas of the government, the minister said that a Rs 300-crore river cruise project in upstate Malabar region has got a Central assistance of Rs 98 crore. “The state government has earmarked Rs 65 crore to this project.”
The minister lauded the KTM for giving stress to the Malabar in the September 27-30 event. The Mart has this time the highest number of foreign buyers: 545. “They have come from 66 countries, including USA, Russia, Japan, China, Australia and Britain. As for the domestic buyers, their number stands at 1,090.”
The government has earmarked Rs 700 crore for rebuilding the state under the Nava Kerala endeavour. The administration is also mulling about modifying certain laws for better tourism practices in the state, he added.
Kerala Tourism Secretary Rani George, KTM President Baby Mathew, Senior Vice President, Indian Association of Tour Operators E M Najeeb, KTM former President Abraham George, Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran; and KTDC Managing Director Rahul R, were also present at the conference.
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