Kerala

Kumarakom welcomes visitors

Employees of a resort in Kumarakom examining the body temperature of a guest with infrared thermometer prior to his entry into the accommodation unit.

Employees of a resort in Kumarakom examining the body temperature of a guest with infrared thermometer prior to his entry into the accommodation unit.  

Loss of ₹100 crore for tourism stakeholders following COVID-19 outbreak

Nearly three months after the picturesque canal banks and the tree-lined pathways here suddenly turned desolate, Kumarakom is now opening its doors to visitors once again.

The backwater village, home to a chain of luxury resorts and homestays, welcomed its first batch of guests after the COVID-19-induced lockdown when a four-member family from Kochi checked-in at a resort here on June 13. This was followed by a few more guest arrivals on Sunday. K. Arun Kumar, secretary, the Chamber of Vembanad Hotels and Resorts (CVHR), said at least five out of the 25 hotels in the region were preparing to receive guests in the coming days.

“The hotel staff have been imparted training to work in the new landscape of face masks, temperature checks and social distancing,” he said. According to him, the travel and tourism industry in Kumarakom will look to build on its reputation as an international destination and remake its popular image as a destination for inter-State tour groups.

“The cumulative loss for the tourism industry here over the last three months is estimated to be over ₹100 crore. Given the restrictions on international and inter-State travel, getting the business as usual will take a lot of time and for the time being, we are reorienting our focus towards the guests within the State,” he added. Commenting on the development, K. Rupesh Kumar, Coordinator, State Responsible Tourism Mission, said the agency had already begun to receive enquires on Kumarakom even from abroad. “As many as 180 foreign and 40 domestic enquiries have been received for December this year. We will be confirming these visits based on the directions of the government,” he said.

Huge blow

The outbreak of COVID-19 in March dealt a huge blow to this internationally acclaimed village destination.

The local economy too came to a standstill during the period, leaving the stakeholders such as artisans, tour guides, restaurants offering ethnic cuisine and the local transport operators in dire straits.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 12:01:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kumarakom-welcomes-visitors/article31828681.ece

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