Meltdown hits Kerala’s tourism sector | business | Hindustan Times
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Meltdown hits Kerala’s tourism sector

Kerala has started feeling the pinch of global meltdown. Tourism, a major foreign exchange earner for the state, is in the grips of a slowdown, reports Ramesh Babu.

business Updated: Oct 26, 2008 21:05 IST
Ramesh Babu

Kerala has started feeling the pinch of global meltdown. Tourism, a major foreign exchange earner for the state, is in the grips of a slowdown. Worried industry mandarins have pressed the panic button, and the tourism department is busy chalking alternatives to tide over the crisis.

“Normally during the peak November-January season about 60 per cent rooms are filled by foreign tourists and rest by domestic ones,” said Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, tourism minister. “But foreign tourist inquiries and bookings are low this time. We have to make up the loss by luring enough domestic tourists.”

The over 1,200 houseboats that operate in Alapuzha and Kochi are the worst affected.

The government has launched a special scheme to cash in on the 25 lakh migrants from the state, to encourage them to bring in friends and colleagues as tourists. They will be paid special incentives and commissions.