Tourists are back in God’s own country and loving it

With the prospect of getting his vaccination any day now, nothing can stop the traveller from reaching his chosen destination in Kerala | Image- Eunice Dhivya

Benoy PP has had a hectic three months since October but he isn’t complaining. The strong rebound in tourism in Kerala has only lifted the spirit of Benoy, general manager of Kerala Tourism’s hotels in Thekkady, and the entire industry.

The pandemic notwithstanding, Thekkady and the rest of the Idukki district witnessed a huge number of tourists this holiday season. The Kerala government had lifted its lockdown on all tourist destinations except the beaches on October 12. This phase saw the opening of hill stations, backwater destinations, adventure tourism spots, boating sites and parks.

Sure enough, bookings started early October. “The telephone enquiries were from within the state,” says Benoy. “By mid-November, all the 44 rooms in The Periyar House, 30 rooms in Aranya Nivas and the six rooms in the Lake Palace were completely booked from December 15 to January 5.”

Gireesh PS, tourism information officer and secretary of the Idukki District Tourism Promotion Council, concurs.

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