Amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and 22 confirmed cases in Kerala have heavily impacted the tourism industry of the state. The shops, resorts, and boat operators, that are majorly dependant on the tourism business are witnessing a heavy slowdown due to low tourist footfalls.
While interacting with a news agency, Azeez, District President of Kerala Hotel and Restaurants Association (KHRA) said, "Not only tourists, but even ordinary people have stopped venturing out. Hotels are facing heavy losses. Earlier, hotels used to be open till 11:30 PM, but now most are empty by 9 PM."
Adding further, he stated that the association has requested the Kerala government and Finance Minister to provide financial relief to the hotel sector.
According to Azeez, the association has also provided masks to all its workers. "The association will approach hospitals immediately if any worker is found to be in a serious condition," he added.
A local boat operator Siddique said, "Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the tourism sector of Kerala is facing huge losses. Boat services are largely dependent on tourists and are likely to be the worst affected. Earlier, at least 12 boats used to go out in a single day, but now it is reduced to a single boat."
Reacting to the deserted roads and low tourist falls, another boat operator said, "the number of tourists has come down drastically in the last two or three weeks. Usually, tourists used to look for go out on boats on weekends. However, now we have no work as very few people are coming."
A few locals also slammed the Kerala government for not taking appropriate and timely action against the deadly pandemic. " We depend on tourism, but the government has done little for the sector," another worker from the sector Shalvi said. Meanwhile, the District Tourism Promotion Council on Sunday shut down all water parks in Kodimatha as a preventive measure from Coronavirus.
According to the latest figures available on Sunday, the total number of positive cases of Coronavirus in India has soared up to 108 as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Two deaths have been reported in Kalaburagi and West Delhi respectively. India has suspended all visas, barring for a few categories such as diplomatic and employment apart from keeping in abeyance the visa-free travel facility to OCI cardholders till April 15.
Moreover, the Centre has “strongly advised” Indians to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. The government is also monitoring all suspected cases and has issued preventive advisories.
Taking into consideration the rising number of Coronavirus cases, the Central Government on Saturday decided to treat the deadly virus as a "notified disaster."
(With inputs from ANI)