COVID-19 curbs deal a blow to tourism sector

Entrepreneur, workers hit hard by steep fall in revenue

The proper maintenance of various tourism amenities, including those operated by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) and other private operators has come to a standstill with the steep fall in the monthly revenue subsequent to the restrictions imposed on visitors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The income generated by the Tourism Department as entrance fee is zero now from all the prominent tourism destinations in Kozhikode. It includes eco-tourism destinations such as Thusharagiri, Peruvannamoozhi, Kakkayam, Janaki Forest, Vayalada, Arippara, and Kadalundi. The Sarovaram Bio-park which used to generate a good income for the DTPC every month through its ticket counters, is too remaining shut.

Following the closure of such locations, a large number of contract workers who were maintaining the services too have lost their jobs. Many of the works undertaken to secure the prestigious blue flag certification for the famous Kappad beach too is pending now. The same is the case with the beach beautification drives initiated along the popular stretches of the Kozhikode coastline.

With the decline in the number of visitors, the Kakkayam dam site road is now full of undergrowth obstructing the movement of vehicles and pedestrians. About 14 km of the stretch is not safe now. Though there was a plan to make use of the service of employment guarantee scheme workers, it is not yet a reality.

According to Tourism Department officials, a huge sum will have to be invested for the beautification of the closed tourism centres before its re-opening. The pandemic affected the small village tourism entrepreneurs in the district. Some of them lament that the maintenance of their tourism properties in the absence of any revenue added to the financial burden during these lean seasons.

“The saddest thing is that there are many new entrants to the village tourism industry who faced the setback with the outbreak of the pandemic. They will be able to resume the business only by next year,” said C.A. John, a village tourism entrepreneur.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 9:02:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/covid-19-curbs-deal-a-blow-to-tourism-sector/article31957189.ece

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