The tourism sector in God's Own Country is witnessing signs of a revival with the threat posed by COVID-19 pandemic gradually subsiding. Arrival of tourists to the top travel destinations in the state such as Kumarakom, Munnar and Thekkady is steadily increasing considering the upcoming Christmas-New Year season.
The world-renowned Responsible Tourism destination of Kumarakom in Kottayam district is attracting a large number of visitors from other states as well as various parts of Kerala. However, with many of the pandemic-related restrictions related to international travel still in place, few foreign tourists have arrived in Kumarakom.
“Over the last one week, resorts in the area have experienced a sharp hike in bookings,” said coordinator, Responsible Tourism, VS Bhagat Singh. According to data, 400-500 tourists arrived in Kumarakom every day since December 5 this year.
“Even though room reservations are taking place, the numbers are only half the last year’s figures,” said general secretary of Chamber of Venad Hotels and Resorts K Arun Kumar.
According to general manager of Coconut Lagoon G Sambhu, several people are making online bookings for holding Christmas and New Year celebrations at the resort.
Meanwhile, the famed hill station of Munnar in Idukki district is yet to experience severe cold weather though winter has set in. The mercury is expected to dip to sub-zero levels once the northeast monsoon withdraws completely, according to the authorities.
Still, Munnar is already attracting a large number of visitors on weekends. All hotels and resorts in the area have reopened. They are welcoming tourists by offering big discounts and are following all pandemic-related protocols. The highest number of travellers arrived on December 12, a second Saturday. As many as 1,600 people reached Mattupetty alone for boating on the reservoir, said authorities.
Yet another popular travel destination in Kerala, Thekkady, also is witnessing a steady stream of tourist arrivals after boating was resumed on the picturesque lake and, in fact, the place is quite crowded on Saturdays and Sundays.
Considering the COVID-19 situation, the authorities have arranged safe boat trips. The boats, which have a seating capacity of 120 each, are carrying only 60 passengers at present to ensure social distancing norms.
Moreover, eco-tourism activities such as trekking organized by the Forest Department have also resumed at Thekkady.