From Bad to Worse; New norms, elections and board exams killing Kerala’s domestic tourism hopes

After a short lived spike in domestic tourism arrivals, Kerala’s tourism sector has once again plummeted into uncertainty due to an array of developments.

The decision to make negative RT-PCR tests compulsory for visitors to kerala from other states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, West Bengal and the northeastern region has badly damaged the hopes of the tourism sector.

The slump in the number of tourist arrivals to the various tourist destinations is again creating serious trouble to any sort of revenue generation.

To add to the existing worries, the sector is staring at more trouble after the announcement of the state assembly elections schedule and state government’s decision to postpone the board examinations to April.

April, which traditionally used to be travel time for the summer holidaying domestic tourists, is expected to be a washout. As per the industry experts, since the board examinations are scheduled from April 8 to 30, the sector will be badly hit.

Travel Trade associations of Kerala in a letter to the chief secretary of the state requested to remove restrictions like seven-day mandatory quarantine for other state visitors in order to keep the tourism sector stay afloat.

Many believe that there is no logic in enforcing more restrictions in the tourism segment alone, while the state has already allowed festivals to be organized and to screen second shows in movie halls.  Nothing can be done about the elections or the examinations however the state should be ready to lift the restrictions in a phased manner if at all the monsoon tourism campaign needs to produce some results.

As per the statistics available with the tourism department, the period NOV’20 to FEB’21 had shown strong positive signs of recovery for the domestic tourism segment which unfortunately looks to be short-lived due to these recent developments.

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