Kerala launches 26 new tourism projects

In a bid to boost its tourism sector, the south Indian state of Kerala has announced a bevy of new tourism projects, from the hilltop tourist centre Ponmudi in Thiruvananthapuram to the northern district of Kasargod.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has launched 26 new projects across the 14 districts through a video conference.

“Once our state, the country and the world survive Covid-19, Kerala will become a tourist paradise again," Vijayan said, adding that the state suffered an estimated loss of around Rs 25,000 crores due to the pandemic.

The projects include Malamel Para Tourism Project at Kollam beach, Thanni beach, a major infrastructural development project at Ponmudi and a Rs 49 lakh beautification project of Mooloor Memorial at Elavumthitta in Pathanamthitta district.

A Green Tourism Complex, modelled on the Louvre Museum in Paris, will come up at Pala in Kottayam. The Aruvikkuzhi Tourism Development Project in Idukki District; Elappara Amenity Centre, a tourism project as part of the Bhoothatankettu dam in Ernakulam district, the botanical garden and renovation of the tourist centre at Peechi dam in Thrissur are some of the other projects launched.

After remaining in lockdown for months following the spread of Covid-19, the tourism spots in the state were eventually unlocked in two phases to travellers following strict protocols. All tourist destinations except beaches were made accessible to visitors from October 12. Destinations which have no controlled access, such as beach destinations, were opened to travellers in the second phase, from November 1.

Further, tourist destinations will welcome domestic tourists as well as other visitors. The first phase saw the reopening of hill stations, backwater destinations, adventure tourism centres, boating facilities and so on. Specific protocols, health checking arrangements and access control measures are being followed at all the destinations. Strict enforcement of Covid-19 protocols is ensured at all destinations including social distancing norms, disinfection procedures, mandatory thermal screening of visitors and other safety parameters.

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