A post-pandemic boost to Kerala tourism

Velakali artists from Ambalappuzha stage a performance to welcome the tourists who reached Kochi from From Mumbai on MV Empress on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The newly built cruise terminal at the Kochi port received the first batch of tourists on Wednesday as luxury cruise liner MV Empress from Mumbai called at the port, marking a start to the revival of post-pandemic domestic tourism in Kerala.

The Lakshadweep-bound luxury cruise liner, carrying 1,200 travellers, had a stopover here with 300 travellers deboarding the ship for a day-long onshore sightseeing. Kerala Tourism accorded a warm welcome to the guests with martial dancers and women in traditional off-white dress greeting them.

The snow-white vessel, owned by Cordelia Cruises, became the first luxury cruise liner to anchor at the state-of-the-art terminal of the Kochi port after the devastating COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world.

The day-long Kochi leg is scheduled around Mattancherry and Fort Kochi, touching several points of historical importance. Boat rides along the backwaters to take in the charm of the ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’ were also arranged, said a communication from the organisers.

The Lakshadweep islands is the next destination of the cruise liner, but passengers who have opted for just the Kochi package will be taken to other parts of the State, according to Voyages Kerala, the tour agent.

The tourists walked down the terminal around 9.30 a.m., one-and-a-half hours after MV Empress anchored at the terminal in sunny weather. The guests were received by Kerala Tourism Joint Director K. Radhakrishnan and Deputy Director T.G. Abhilash, who said Kerala tourism signalled a busy future following the waning of the pandemic even as the onshore tour adhered to strict COVID-19 protocol.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 6:22:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/a-post-pandemic-boost-to-kerala-tourism/article36612926.ece

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