Kerala preparing stimulus package for tourism: Minister Surendran

The Kerala government is planning to announce a stimulus package for industries such as tourism, minister Kadakampally Surendran has said.

Addressing the tourism stakeholders through a virtual meeting organised by Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), the state tourism minister said a big public relations (PR) initiative has to be taken up for the industry to come out of this present crisis.

“Our PR work should improve. The message should go out that Kerala is a safe destination to visit,” minister Surendran said, reminding everyone about the solid work that the state has done to control the spread of the virus.

At this point the government is considering all the recommendations made by the various stake holders. “We are preparing short and long terms plans. Let’s be positive. It’s not like we have lost everything. Kerala has tackled nipah, floods and other issues in the past. We will ensure that the interests of the sector are protected along with that of the employees,” the minister remarked.

During the discussion, industry veteran and former CEO of CGH Earth, Jose Dominic said the government can think of a subsistence package to help the hospitality industry. “Some staff can be asked to go on loss of pay. We don’t have to necessarily lay off employees,” he said.

CKTI President EM Najeeb said that the sector needs soft loans without collateral. “Moratorium on loans need to be extended for a year and we need a GST holiday for two years,” he noted.

Abad Hotels managing director Riaz Ahmad said the hotel industry is in a crisis. “We are concerned about our employees. The central government is yet to announce a package, so we hope bodies like KFC and KSIDC can help us with soft loans,” he observed.

KTM President Baby Mathew said all the recommendations and suggestions will be taken into account and prepared as a report, for further submission.