With signs of the second wave of Covid-19 subsiding, Kerala is charting measures to revive its vital tourism sector by rolling out packages that encourage domestic travellers to visit the destinations in the state.
A high-level meeting presided by Tourism Minister Adv Mohamed Riyas today decided to finalise projects and implement them at the earliest so as to inspire confidence in travellers and woo them to a whole range of places across Kerala.
The initiative, which is being carried out considering that the pandemic will take time for authorities to promote international tourists, seeks to complete select tourism projects in the districts on a time-bound basis. Kerala Tourism will work in close association with allied departments by initiating sustained dialogues with all parties.
In a month, the various approval/classification schemes under Ease of Doing Business will go online. Authorities will draft new Covid-19 protocols for tourists arriving from other states. This will be done after Tourism officials hold talks with their counterparts in the Ministry of Health.
The government will administer anti-Covid vaccine to deserving workers in the tourist sector and will explore the possibilities to train them for jobs in tune with world tourism standards.
Today’s meeting between the Department of Tourism and senior functionaries of allied institutions entrusted top officials to come up with drafts of projects that can reinvigorate the tourism sector which has been in the doldrums owing to the pandemic. The proposed initiatives will start by the second week of June, by when authorities are hopeful of a slide in the graph of the present second wave of Covid-19.
The department has conceived strategies to hard-sell Kerala Tourism as a formidable brand by extending novel packages to potential beneficiaries. Authorities are also aiming at long-term projects of overarching nature that can redefine the state’s tourism face.
One among them will be renewed stress in Responsible Tourism (RT) that will take care of ecological conservation while playing host to travellers. The measures under RT will also ensure that the local population benefits from tourism even as the region’s traditional lifestyle and culture find highlight. The Department of Tourism will work in association with local administration bodies so as to initiate projects that can empower common people.
Kerala Tourism aims to coordinate the functions of the allied departments so as to develop a tourism circuit. Infrastructure will be accorded renewed prominence, with focus on the building of efficient roadways. To make sites free from pollution will be another area of focus, authorities said, according importance to better ancillary facilities for rise in tourist footfalls.
The less explored Malabar will be a region of special focus, according to the meeting that was attended by Tourism Principal Secretary Rani George and Kerala Tourism Director V R Krishna Teja besides top officials of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, Eco Tourism, Kerala State Tourism Infrastructure Limited, Muziris Heritage Project, Adventure Tourism Promotion Society, RT Mission, State Institute of Hotel Management and Kerala Institute of Travel & Tourism Studies, among other allied bodies.