Kerala Tourism will take steps to make use of the steep fall in the value of the rupee to attract more foreign tourists to the State, Minister for Tourism A.P. Anil Kumar has said.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Anil Kumar said though the depreciation in the value of the rupee was not good for the country and some sectors, it was beneficial to the tourism sector as tourist arrivals to the State could go up with the active support of the stakeholders in the industry.
The Minister said the much-awaited Tourist Visa on Arrival (T-VoA) at the Thiruvananthapuram and Cochin international airports would benefit the tourism industry. The Tourism Department was chalking out plans to popularise the T-VoA in the 11 countries from where tourists could land in God’s Own Country and get the T-VoA.
In reply to a question, Mr. Anil Kumar said the government would go ahead with the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival this year with the active participation of traders. The shortcomings of the festival had been taken note of by the department and the aim was to rope in one lakh shops for the next edition, he said.
Admitting the lack of support from shop owners, the Minister said more support was being sought from the Industries Department and the traders to conduct the festival. A permanent mechanism was also being looked into.
On the sea plane operations, Mr. Anil Kumar said the government was awaiting the report of the committee set up to look into the issue. The government had not received any letter from the operator seeking compensation for the delay in starting the services.