New minister charts out ways to revive tourism sector

New tourism minister charts out ways to revive tourism sector

Thiruvananthapuram: With COVID-19 cases showing a decline in Kerala over the past few days, the state is charting measures to revive its vital tourism sector, hit hard by the pandemic, by rolling out packages that encourage domestic travellers to visit destinations in the state.

A high-level meeting presided by Tourism Minister Muhammad Riyas on Saturday decided to finalise projects and implement them at the earliest so as to inspire confidence in travellers and woo them to a whole range of places across the state, a Kerala Tourism press release said here.

The initiative, which is being carried out considering that the pandemic will take time for authorities to promote international tourists, seeks to complete select tourism projects in the districts on a time-bound basis.

Kerala Tourism will work in close association with allied departments by initiating sustained dialogues with all parties.

In a month, the various approval/classification schemes under Ease of Doing Business will go online, it said.

Authorities will draft new COVID-19 protocols for tourists arriving from other states.

This will be done after Tourism officials hold talks with their counterparts in the Ministry of Health.

The government will administer anti-COVID vaccine to deserving workers in the tourist sector and explore the possibilities to train them for jobs in tune with world tourism standards, the release said.

Today's meeting between the Department of Tourism and senior functionaries of allied institutions entrusted top officials to come up with drafts of projects that can reinvigorate the tourism sector, which has been in the doldrums owing to the pandemic.

The proposed initiatives will start by the second week of June, by when authorities are hopeful of a slide in the graph of the present second wave of COVID-19, the release said.

The department has conceived strategies to hard-sell Kerala Tourism as a formidable brand by extending novel packages to potential beneficiaries.

Authorities are also aiming at long-term projects of overarching nature that can redefine the states tourism face.

One among them will be renewed stress in Responsible Tourism (RT) that will take care of ecological conservation while playing host to travellers.

The measures under RT will also ensure that the local population benefits from tourism, even as the regions traditional lifestyle and culture find highlight.

The Department of Tourism will work in association with local administration bodies so as to initiate projects that can empower common people, the release said.

Kerala Tourism aims to coordinate the functions of the allied departments so as to develop a tourism circuit.

Infrastructure will be accorded renewed prominence, with focus on the building efficient roadways.

To make sites free from pollution will be another area of focus, authorities said.

The less explored Malabar will be a region of special focus, according to the meeting that was attended by Tourism Principal Secretary Rani George and Kerala Tourism Director V R Krishna Teja, besides top officials of other allied bodies.

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