Tourism in Kerala limping back to normalcy


Kochi: The tourism in Kerala is limping back to normalcy after heavy rain and floods ravaged the state in August. Though the leisure tourism is yet to pick up, the business tourism is looking up.

“We have seen the number of corporate tourists growing from mid-October. But it may take some more time for the leisure tourism to rebound,” said Girish Bhagat, general manager of Grand Hyatt, Kochi.

The hotel which opened just before the Nipah virus scare and flood hit the state, is now gearing up for a busy tourist season ahead. “The MICE tourism is looking up and we now have an average occupancy rate of 60% which is better than many hotels in the city,”he said.

The hotel plans to get two houseboats in a few months to cater to the expected rise in the tourist flow. It has several inquiries for conducting destination weddings. “Medical tourism is another area which looks promising. We have several medical conferences coming up,” he said. The hotel is planning to pitch for large international conferences, which are usually held at Dubai, Singapore etc.

“The domestic tourist flow during the Diwali time was not up to our expectations,” said Abraham George, CMD of intersight Tours & Travels . At the biennial tourism conference Kerala Travel Mart held here in September, the tourism industry had expressed hope that the number of visitors will improve by November.

But now it is pinning its hopes on the Christmas and New Year season. The Kochi Biennale, international exhibition of contemporary art, that starts in December is an event that the industry is looking forward to bring more tourist footfall in the state.