#savetourism goes viral in social media

Tourism personnel wearing black masks and holding placards in the beach resort of Kovalam as part of observing May 1 as ‘Black Day’.  

The campaign by the Samithi, the umbrella body for 20 organisations working in the tourism sector of the State, went viral on social media platforms right from Saturday morning. In view of the prevailing situation in the State due to the second wave of the pandemic, the samithi avoided public demonstrations on the Labour Day.

More than 70,000 social media posts were made by people with #savetourism in facebook, twitter, instagram and whatsapp, surprising the organisers. Those working in the sector from Kasaragod in the north to Poovar in the south took part in the campaign.

In Twitter, all tweets were tagged to the Prime Minister’s Office, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman, Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel, and Kerala Chief Minister’s Office.

“We distributed over 10,000 black masks and people have been creating digital masks and posting pictures with black masks. The huge response was unexpected and those from outside the State joined us in the campaign,” said P.K. Anishkumar of the ATTOI and one of the brains behind the movement.

Frontline tourism workers like drivers, waiters, front desk personnel, guides, ayurveda therapists, staff of the house boats, tour and transport operators were in the forefront of the day-long campaign.

“The campaign has resulted in informing the society of the current situation of the tourism sector that has come to a grinding halt. Many have come forward already with a helping hand. We hope the Centre and State authorities will open their eyes and step in to help Kerala Tourism,” he added.

Tourism fraternity’s aim was to press the State and Union government to intervene resolve the grave issue facing the tourism sector due to the restrictions that threaten to eliminate the sector.

Tourism has been a mainstay of the Kerala economy with the sector generating ₹44,000 crore annually and providing employment to 15 lakh people both directly and otherwise. For the last 14 months, the samithi has said tourism has been struggling to come out of the travails in the wake of the pandemic.

The samithi’s demands include ₹5,000 month to the jobless, exemption of taxes and fees for tourist vehicles and houseboats, moratorium on paying tax arrears and ₹250 crore package to support the tourism workers.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 4:25:09 PM |

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