Thiruvananthapuram: The money spinning tourism industry in Kerala has taken a severe beating on account of the Covid pandemic and according to a State Minister, the loss suffered is around Rs 25,000 crore.
State Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Tuesday said the tourism industry has suffered one of its worst ever disaster.
"The loss that has been suffered is Rs 25,000 crore and it has hit thousands of people working in the industry very badly. The state government has now announced a package of Rs 455 crore for the industry," said Surendran.
"This package consists of new infusion of funds up to a maximum of Rs 25 lakh to tourism entrepreneurs and 50 per cent of the interest would be borne by the state government. Likewise workers in the industry will get a loan of Rs 30,000 from the Kerala Bank which will come at an interest rate of three per cent and repayment starts only after six months," added Surendran.
It was a record 1.96 crore tourists who arrived (domestic and foreign) in Kerala in the 2019 calendar year.
It registered a 17.2 per cent growth as compared to the 2018 calendar year.
This rate of growth is a record of sorts as it's the first time since 1996 that such a rate has been achieved,
The total earnings from tourism stood at Rs 45,010.69 crore, notching a robust 24.14 per cent growth.
The total number of tourists was pegged at 1,95,74,004, of whom there were 1,83,84,233 domestic tourists and 11,89,771 visitors from abroad.
In 2018, the number of tourists visiting Kerala was 1,67,01,068 (domestic tourists 1,56,04,661 and foreign tourists 10,96,407).
The growth rate in the inflow of domestic tourists was 17.81 per cent while for the foreign tourist arrivals, it was 8.52 per cent.
With Kerala now witnessing a daily spike in new Covid cases, the presently estimated loss in the tourism industry is expected to further surge as Kerala's peak tourism season is between end of September till January.
In Kerala the total number of Covid positive people will soon reach 50,000, and the daily average count of new Covid cases is expected to cross 2,000.