Thiruvananthapuram: Vythiri in Wayanad district has become the first fully vaccinated tourism destination in Kerala as part of the State's COVID-19 vaccination campaign to turn all tourism destinations completely risk-free for visitors, the government said on Thursday.
It became the first holiday hub to cover the entire population including tourism sector stakeholders under the initiative, according to a release.
"In the post-pandemic phase, visitors will be looking for safe and hospitable places to spend time. The Government considers it as vitally important to administer COVID-19 vaccine to the entire stakeholders in all the destinations across the state," Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas said in the release.
Rolled out on mission mode to keep the whole of Kerala ready to receive visitors when the pandemic recedes, the inoculation drive has picked up momentum in all destinations including hill stations, backwater hubs, seaside holiday spots and heritage and cultural tourism centres across the state.
The Tourism minister had earlier this month announced the initiative.
An eco-tourism hotspot located 700 metres above sea level and 60 km from Kozhikode, Vythiri had its entire population, including tourism service providers, vaccinated during an intensive inoculation drive held from July 13-17.
Wayanad, sharing borders with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, is a major tourist haven in South India, known for its stunning scenic appeal and congenial ambience.
"Blessed with unsurpassed natural beauty, Wayanad has immense tourism potential. We have major plans to develop the area as a hub for a rich mix of holiday and leisure activities including adventure tourism," the minister said.
V Venu IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism department, said the vaccination campaign was picking up well as it is being conducted on a mission mode.
"Along with the Tourism department, the industry bodies and employee forums and local communities are actively involved for its success," Venu said.
The campaign is being rolled out to the entire service providers connected with the travel and hospitality industry including employees of hotels, resorts and home-stays, tour guides, taxi and autorickshaw drivers and traders in tourism centres.
Major centres to be covered by the initiative include Alappuzha, Munnar, Fort Kochi, Kovalam, Kumarakom, and Varkala.
In the tourism segment alone, 5,395 people were administered the first dose of the vaccine during the campaign organised by the Tourism Department in Vythiri with the support of the Health Department, district administration and the industry bodies.
The inoculation drive was conducted by the doctors and paramedical staff of Vythiri Taluk Headquarters Hospital and Sugandhagiri Primary Health Centre.