Kerala Tourism Future Plans and Strategies
COVID 19 impact on Tourism Industry
The tourism industry has been negatively impacted worldwide by the outbreak of the coronavirus since most countries have adopted restrictions on travel in an attempt to contain its spread. Kerala has been starting to recover from the Nipah virus outbreak and two monsoon floods in recent years. We are now confronting a difficult situation since another crisis has again struck the tourism sector in this reviving state. Amidst the global coronavirus outbreak, the state of Kerala has encountered massive cancelation of hotel reservations and tour packages. COVID-19 had a very distressing effect on the tourism sector, and this would have been the hardest hit the industry has ever faced. The unofficial guesstimate of the financial losses accumulated in the tourism sector between February and April is more than Rs 15,000 crores. Official data predict that more than one half a million people are either directly or indirectly dependent on the tourism sector for their livelihoods.
Kerala's Fight Against the Pandemic
Kerala was the first state in India to deal with the consequences of Covid-19, when a student from Wuhan, China, was tested positive. With much more incoming cases, the state government has declared the pandemic as "state calamity". Now, the whole world is applauding and observing Kerala's strategic approach to control the outbreak of the virus, while the world's most developed countries have failed to contain it efficiently. The Health Department of Kerala is taking great care of the people affected by the virus. The state has opened isolation facilities in all government medical colleges, districts, and general hospitals.
In January, while the rest of India, along with countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, wouldn’t take strict measures to restrict movement for another 2 months, the Health Minister of Kerala KK Shailaja had ordered Kerala's four international airports to begin screening of passengers. Those with symptoms were carried to a government facility where they were tested and isolated; their samples were taken to the National Institute of Virology, Pune. By February, she had formed a 24-member State Response Team to coordinate with the police and public officials throughout Kerala. Kerala has always maintained importance in social welfare. The Kerala health care system is ranked among the finest in India, with world-class doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Due to this, the life expectancy of the state is among the highest in the country.
Kerala was way ahead of the rest of the states in India. There were a few other reasons why Kerala was better prepared than most places to deal with these problems. Kerala is small in size and densely populated, but relatively well-off. More power and authority were passed over to municipalities and panchayats than elsewhere in India. The state has a literacy rate of 94%, the highest in India, and vibrant local news media. People in Kerala do not really rely on speculations, WhatsApp forwards, or fake news, and most people have realized the seriousness of the issue. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan conducted a live press conference daily on a Coronavirus outbreak. The press briefings have been a valuable source of information for people in Kerala as well as Keralites living abroad, as the government would use this time to give a detailed overview of cases in the state, the number of people quarantined, the measures being taken to prevent and control the spread of the novel coronavirus, as well as the relief measures put in place for different sections of society.
The achievement of the state in the past and the present hinges on science, accountability, decentralization, and social equality. These, as it were, are the four basic principles of the Kerala Model.
For the time being, tourism will still have to be put on hold in the best interest of safety and security. Over the years, the Kerala Tourism industry has been capable of overcoming and solve major conflicts. The Government of Kerala expects to control the current devastating scenario and to bounce back strongly. It's just a temporary situation, and our world is going to get through it. It is necessary to remain calm with balanced and effective governance.
Kerala: A Safe Place to Travel
Kerala is renowned for its administrative achievement in managing disasters and is considered to be one of the safest locations in India. Kerala is indeed one of the safest places to travel in India. However, the government has decided to make certain travel restrictions in and around Kerala. Only people of Kerala who work overseas and in other states of India are permitted to travel to Kerala. Tourism has been temporarily prohibited for a while now.
If Kerala overcomes the pandemic crisis relatively more successfully, we will emerge as a 'Safer and Healthier' tourist destination in India. In times to come, Kerala could make itself a 'safe to travel' destination and be the most preferred destination for a trip.
The Government of India has granted permission to open all resorts and hotels in accordance with strict government protocols. The tourism industry has informed that, under the Central Government's order, tour companies can start functioning within one week.
The Tourism Industry should focus more on domestic tourism than on inbound or outbound tourism. There would be a new 'protocol' for both domestic and international traveling, primarily based on the safety and health of the traveler and the host destination. Domestic travelers, as well as travelers within Kerala, will choose to visit these safe places only during the introductory phase.
Kerala Tourism is all set to launch new initiatives to attract more tourists to the state. For the purpose, Kerala Tourism decided to begin a Single destination package tour for short sightseeing to a selected destination. In order to enhance the quality of major tourist attractions as per the contentment of tourists with the amenities available, Kerala Tourism will undertake regular feedback surveys in each tourist destination. However, the four main factors in the overall travel scenario will be safety, health, hygiene, and value.
Safety: Perspective and reality will matter.
Health: Government will carry out compulsory medical checks
Hygiene: Hardly any compromise will be reached on this. Personal hygiene would have to be a mandatory part of everyday life.
Value: Great value for great money will be the new motto
Single Destination Package Tour
Kerala Tourism is planning to launch an impactful method known as the 'Single Destination Package Tour' to enhance the industry in this rough phase. The most crucial criterion for getting to grips with the COVID 19 pandemic is the ability to adapt to change and to adapt to the new normal, which makes you stronger and more resilient.
Most people have had a really tough time spending all the time in their homes for the past three months. We offer them the opportunity to refresh and relax in the serene ambiance of Kerala with the utmost security and safety. A few among the most popular tourist destinations in Kerala are chosen as the major destination for this package. The tour package shall be carried out by following all proper government protocols.
The most popular tourist destination in Kerala is picked for this single destination kerala tour package. Tourists are allowed to visit only that place.
Travelers need to register and obtain an entry pass for their visit to Kerala. Bookings can be made either by phone or directly.
All tourists must carry their COVID 19 negative test results. This is the most important document for the journey.
Amidst of a steep rise in coronavirus cases, the government of Kerala unveiled a new set of regulations for those visiting the state on a short holiday. No one is permitted to stay in Kerala for more than a week. Visitors will need to share the details of the itinerary, as well as the purpose of the visit, the accommodation, and the contact person.
Travelers should follow all Covid-19 advisories and safety measures during their stay in Kerala, which includes social distancing, frequent hand hygiene, and wearing face masks. Travelers should carry a hand sanitizer and an additional face mask while traveling.
Tourists must follow 7-day return policy. And they are expected to leave the state on the eighth day.
Visitors must have to undergo several medical procedures at the airport itself which includes temperature checks and thermal scanning. Their luggage will be thermal scanned and sanitized at the airport. They should carry the hotel booking voucher and should have to show this at the airport.
No sightseeing is permitted in the package, taking into account the safety and security of tourists as well as locals.
The resort arranged for the accommodation will be situated amidst a picturesque location. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature without going out.
Once the travelers reached Kerala, our cab picked them up from the airport and headed directly to the hotel or resort without halting in between. After the trip, they will be dropped off at the airport in the same manner.
A single cab will be allocated for the entire journey. Air conditioners in cars will also be switched off to prevent air circulation between the passenger and the driver. The cab will be equipped with panels or plastic isolators to separate passengers from the driver. Passengers will not be allowed to sit in the front seat near the driver.
To protect you, drivers will wear all their personal protective kit as part of the safety measures. The kit is made up of masks, gloves, aprons and protective glasses or face shields.
Our cabs are disinfected on each and every arrival using Virex 256, a disinfectant that is approved for safe traveling by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency.
The hotels and resorts have also taken measures to ensure the safety of tourists as well as the employees.
Precautionary Protocols in Hotels and Resorts
As a procedure prior to the arrival of tourists, hotel or resort management will go through Government approved ID proof of the tourists. Travelers should take a look at the safety guidebook of the hotels that guide and prepare you for a new normal.
Upon arrival at the hotel, all guests must undergo temperature checks and thermal scanning before entering the hotel premises. Tourists should wear a face mask all the time during the journey and at the hotel. This is a mandatory precautionary step that must be followed for everyone's health and safety.
Hotels and resorts have a specially organized sanitization desk, and visitors can approach it for any necessities, such as masks, gloves, or hand sanitizers. In order to ensure that every visitor is fully protected, their luggage will be disinfected again before being carried to the hotel at a specially built separate station.
Visitors must follow the floor sign to maintain social distance while waiting for check-in at the front desk. If possible, please make use of the online payment facility available at the front desk. Make use of hand sanitizers placed in all the main areas of the hotel and always maintain a social distance of 6 feet.
All the objects and areas that are regularly touched in the room are sanitized by the trained housekeeping team of the hotel as a special guideline and are safe to contact. All Objects sanitized include door handles, minibar handles, TV remotes, Chair handles, phones, bathroom handles, shower handles, toilet seat covers, socket and washbasin tap, and other surfaces in the room. Hotels have placed a specially designed immune booster package in every.
For your safety and security, other housekeeping facilities, such as in-room evening service, cleaning of the bathroom is temporarily suspended in importance to maintaining social distancing and a minimal interaction throughout your stay.
In order to maintain social distancing in all restaurants, tables will be separated by a minimum distance of three meters from each other. If you're traveling together as a family, the hotels have organized tables to match your requirements. After each use, all tables are cleaned and sanitized. Buffet service will not be available to make sure everyone has a safe dining experience. The waiter keeps a distance of two feet while taking orders and serving. The same procedures will also be carried out in bars.
In-room dining is most recommended in hotels and resorts. To ensure a contactless dining experience, all the in-room orders will be handed over at the entrance door of each room. The hotel staff will not enter any room unless the visitor specifically wants the food to be delivered inside, even if they've been told to maintain social distancing.
Visitors with symptoms of cold, running nose, cough, fever, and sneezing will not be permitted to use the swimming pool facility. All swimming pools and safety equipment are sanitized after every use.
Only just a few guests at a time will be allowed to use the lift to keep social distancing guidelines. ⠀ In order to ensure that social distancing is maintained inside, all lifts have specific symbols that act as instructions and help guests not to stand facing each other. The sanitizing facility is placed for immediate use in all lift landing areas.
Guests should follow the floor symbols to maintain social distancing while queuing for check-out at the front desk. Please make use of the online payment facilities at the front desk. Currency notes will not be accepted for security reasons.
Visitors from outside will not be allowed to the guest rooms. Outside food suppliers will also not be allowed to the hotels. Any guests who have symptoms will be quarantined in the room and will inform the local authorities.