Despite the rising number of COVId cases in the state, Kerala Tourism Minister P A Mohammed Riyas stated on Sunday that the state plans to reopen all key tourist spots on Monday and that they will be fully operational thereafter. Because foreign tourists are unlikely to visit the state due to Covid fears, Kerala opted to boost domestic tourism by allowing all travelers who have gotten at least one dose of vaccine to enter the state.
He stated that the action was being taken since the epidemic caused a loss of over 3,000 crores in the tourism sector from March 2020 to December 2020, as well as a loss of 7,000 crores in foreign exchange profits. He went on to say that the number of local and foreign tourists in the state had also decreased significantly.
“In the tourism sector alone, due to Covid, a loss of Rs 3,300 crore was sustained from March to December 2020, resulting in a Rs 7,000 crore fall in foreign exchange reserves,” the minister added. “If 13 crore domestic visitors visited Kerala in 2016, it plummeted to 45 lakh in 2020.”
The minister also announced that the department of tourism will organize this year’s Onam celebrations online, with the idea of a worldwide Onapookkalam and an online Onapookkalam (flower arrangement) competition for Malayalees all over the world.On August 14, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will launch the online Onapookkalam competition. Online registration for the event will begin on August 10, he noted.