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Recession hits tourism in Kerala

Source: PTI
November 18, 2008 15:39 IST
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Alarmed by the huge drop in the arrival of foreign tourists to the state due to global recession, Kerala government has set up a working group to chalk out strategies to tackle the crisis.

As per the present assessment, the state has already suffered a 35 per cent fall in the arrival of foreign tourists compared to previous years leading to large number of cancellations in hotels, house boats and major resorts.

According to a leading house boat operator in Alappuzha, the backwater tourism is heading to one of the worst crises in 15 years.

"The business is down by 50 per cent and cancellations come to around 75 per cent," Tomy Pulickel, executive member of the House Boat Owners Association, told PTI.

There were about 400 house boats operating in and around the backwaters of Alappuzha earning a total business turnover over of Rs 35 lakh a day until the global meltdown began to trickle in. This had come down to Rs 10 to 12 lakhs a day now, he said.

'If the crisis continues like this, lay off would have to be declared in house boat sector which offers more than 2000 direct jobs", he added.

According to official sources the impact on home stays, which had grown fast in the last few years, were also in trouble if the bookings in Christmas-New Year season were taken as signs of things in store.

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