Kerala tourism keeps guests happy, despite the stress


Just a few days ago, Association of Tourism Trade Organisations India (ATTOI) secretary Manu PV received an emergency call from French Embassy, Pondicherry. The caller briefed Manu about a lady sitting somewhere in a restaurant in Thiruvananthapuram. All the hotels in the vicinity had denied her entry and she was distraught. There was no place that she could go to. So, this was clearly a distress call.

Manu immediately knew that this was a question of the sector’s reputation. He told the Embassy that the lady can call him for any help. “I was sure I could arrange accommodation for her.”

Soon I got a call from the restaurant where the lady was spending time. The restaurant was bang opposite the Ananthapuri hospital. The sub-inspector at Vanchiyoor police station and the health department staff had also rushed to the spot, in the meanwhile. They tried to convince her about visiting a hospital for a medical check-up, but she was refusing to go.

Manu then intervened and started a conversation with the lady, trying to explain to her the various formalities in the wake of the corona virus scare. After sometime, she appeared convinced and agreed to visit the general hospital along with the relevant authorities.

Manu informed the tourism department about the case, outlining the need to support the tourist. He then proceeded to the hospital and found a couple in a panic situation. The lady tourist said she was not familiar with any of these formalities and had not informed the hotel about her previous places of stay. She said she had visited Varkala, Munnar, Thekkady and Kumarakom. Her flight to Kochi was scheduled for next morning, from where she was scheduled to fly to France.

The hospital did the spasm test and the doctor allowed her to go by 10.30 pm. In the meantime, the Thiruvananthapuram collector had arranged her stay at Krishi Bhavan. The tourism department had arranged a stay for the couple at Mascot Hotel but the police followed the collector’s advice. The tourists then flew to Kochi where Kerala Tourism deputy director Rajkumar had arranged for the stay. He had taken care of the rest of the arrangements too, upon the advice of the tourism secretary.

Later, they left for France completely satisfied about how they were treated.

A similar situation had cropped up regarding a Canadian national who was also denied accommodation. The police had taken him to a hospital for check-up and later ATTOI’s Manu, along with Sajeev and Ramesh of the tourism department arranged for his stay at the Mascot Hotel for two nights. He was full of gratitude and thanked everyone at the department before taking off to his next destination.