Kerala is likely to see a sharp fall in both foreign and domestic inbound tourists in the second quarter of the fiscal, with famous destinations like Munnar and Wayanad ravaged by flood waters.
Heavy rainfall in the last three months in Kerala left 370 people dead and 780,000 displaced due to floods and landslides. According to IMD data, from June 1 to August 27, Idukki received 83.92% excess rain leading to massive destruction of infrastructure like road, embankments, culverts and even bus terminals.
CGH Earth Group CEO Jose Dominic said that tourism has been the hardest hit and Kerala as a destination was non-existent in August. “Kumarakom, Munnar and Thekkady were inaccessible due to the biggest catastrophe Kerala has ever witnessed. The Onam season was completely washed out,” he said.
Kerala’s 10-day state festival Onam falls in Q2 of the financial year, leading to a high influx of tourists in the state. The state has always been a sought-after tourist spot and has also been a destination for MICE activities. With the seasonal nature of the demand, the state witnesses huge demand for MICE activities during April-June (Q1) and October-March (Q3 and Q4) for tourism and social activities.
According to the tourism ministry, during FY17 Kerala received around 1.09 million foreign tourists and 14.67 million domestic tourists.
Kerala Tourism director P Bala Kiran told FE that the second quarter has been lost and it would take a minimum of one month to repair the infrastructure damages.H e pegged the initial loss at around Rs 500 crore.
Rainbow Cruises director Jojy Mathew said that the impact would be huge and houseboat operations have been totally suspended, and it might take another 10 days before it could be re-started.
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