Kadakampally Surendran, the Tourism Minister of the Indian state of Kerala has recently brought to light the state’s plans to start welcoming domestic tourists from the month of September. Kadakampally has also revealed that the government will be offering a loan scheme of INR 455 crore for supporting the tourism sector that is believed to be the most affected industry by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While this is truly a piece of rejoiceful news for the travel enthusiasts stuck at their homes due to the pandemic, the announcement has also brought in new hopes for the tour operators and travel agents, who have long been struggling with their business in this “new normal” environment.
Kerala has already opened its religious sites with the prescribed restrictions and will be opening all other places of tourist interest following the same guidelines. It will allow all kinds of travellers including families, couples, and individuals, but would not permit campfires or conventions.
The state will be getting into the same boots as Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Goa, all of which have resumed their tourism industry for the domestic travel enthusiasts. According to the guidelines issued by these states in this regard, the tourists have to present a COVID-19 certificate, accommodation booking proof of at least 3 to 5 days, and pre-book their accommodation before 5 days of their visit.
Looking back, Kerala had reopened its tourist spots quite quickly after the lockdown. But, the sector soon experienced a closure due to the hike in COVID-19 positive cases and lack of required funds. The state is now motivated to resume its tourism industry in phases under strict guidelines for ensuring there isn’t any mass gathering or crowding to keep the tourists safe.