KOCHI: Heavy rains followed by floods and landslides in August in successive years have forced the tourism industry to rework its calendar amid indications that this pattern may continue in the coming years. In fact, the heavy spell has cast a shadow over the plans drafted by Kerala Tourism four years ago to market the state as a 12-month destination with monsoon tourism as the top-up.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed since it is too early to come to a conclusion that every August will bring in heavy rains. We too are concerned about climate change and its impact,” said Abraham George, National Tourism Advisory Council member and managing director of Intersight Tours and Travels.
He said that this August registered heavy rains in many states and the tourism sector suffered in these states, including Kerala.
“The closure of Cochin international airport for three days was the greatest dampener as it has sent out a signal to the outside world that it is a very vulnerable airport, close on the heels of last year’s closure. The frequent declaration of red and orange alerts by the weathermen also send out alarm signals to tourists from outside. However, the state tourism sector has the resilience to come over all these and we are looking forward to robust months ahead,” said Abraham George.
Rashmi Kamboj, director of convention sales, Grand Hyatt, Kochi Bolgatty, said that Kerala was poised to be a destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) tourism.
The Indian Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB), a body formed under the Ministry of Tourism to promote the country as a venue for international conferences and exhibitions, had formed its chapter and will hold the 12th edition of Conventions India Conclave in Kochi from August 29-31.
“If a private tourist is spending $ 600, in the case of a MICE tourist it will be $1500. Hence, the difference it makes is significant and the state is set to kickstart a new campaign in August itself,” said Rashmi Kamboj....