Kerala Tourism Crashed With Floods and Disaster
Due to unprecedented monsoon, the state of Kerala is wrecked with water. This has affected and crumbled many industries and local life of the people. This includes the diminishing tourism element. Apart from tourism industry, the plantation sector is the next majorly affected industry.
How is the tourism industry affected? Tourists are less likely to choose Kerala, given the state of the region and tourist attractions. In addition, cancellation of hotel bookings, tickets and other tour services are hitting the ceiling. Following the scare of Nipah outbreak (deadly viral outbreak), the floods and rains are creating a large decrease in demand in the tourism department.
Heavy rain, gushing floods and landslides have uprooted 39 lives and pushed more than one lakh people into homeless situation. The rain has been at its highest efficacy since the starting of August, which is rare in Kerala. Unfortunately, the most important tourist destinations like Wayanad, Idukki and other high-range regions are at the worst of situation. With numerous landslides, connectivity and basic amenities are cut off from numerous destinations.
According Senior Vice President of IATO, EM Najeeb, around 70-80 percent of the bookings in Munnar, Kumarakom and Idukki are cancelled. 10% of the GDP of the state is credited by the tourism department. Apart from tourism, this rainfall and disaster has disrupted many local festivals and events like Onam celebration, snake boat race and others. Snake boat race is an important tourist attraction, during this season. Large canoe boats holding more than 100 rowers, compete with each other. The race should have commenced from 11 of this month, but it has been postponed. This is not one singular race. This marks the beginning of boat race league.
According to the government tourism direction, P. Bala Kiran, they are looking for an alternative date for these events. Onam festival is around the corner and the rain has disrupted local celebrations, feast preparation and others.
Among the casualties to the rain, humans are not the only race who are affected. The rare flowers of Munnar hills, Nellakurinji has diminished a lot. This flower blooms only once in 12 year and due to landslide, the habitat of this flower has been affected too much. The same goes for many other spices, tea, rubber and other plantations. Idukki produces 12 important spices of the land like nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, turmeric and cinnamon. The harvest of all the spices have fallen down. The loss of spices and condiment harvest has been estimated around 600 crores, according to Ajit BK, secretary of association of planters of Kerala. The loss due to tea plantations alone will rate between INR 150 crore to INR 200 crore. This is due to loss of more than 100 acres of land, due to flooding, landslides and others. How does this affect tourism? The harvest festival of Kerala, is the time of numerous culture-loving tourists visiting the state. With decrease in harvest, there is very little chance of a lush harvest festival. The same goes for sightseeing in plantation sites, stay amidst plantations and other activities.
Overall, it is forecasted that the state will be burdened with INR 8,316 crores, due to the rain and flood.