The Kerala government is getting ready to implement a 'revolving fund scheme' in the state tourism sector with an aim to revive the industry which had been shattered due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Tourism Minister P A Mohammed Riyas told the state Assembly that the proposed scheme envisaged to provide interest-free loans is aimed to support those employed in the industry who are facing challenges due to the pandemic spread.
The project is set for implementation, he said while replying to a question raised by E Chandrasekharan (CPI) in this regard during the Question Hour. Under the scheme, tourist taxi and bus drivers, houseboat staff, hotel-restaurant employees, those working in Ayurveda centres, homestays, amusement and green parks and responsible tourism projects and artists, handicraft experts and martial artists attached to the sector can avail interest-free loans.
The minister said it was also decided to renew the licence and accreditation issued by the Tourism department to various institutions including Ayurveda centres, restaurants, homestays, service villas and so on till December 31. The state government has been on its mission to rejuvenate the shattered holiday industry which has suffered a severe blow due to the pandemic situation.
As per the government figures, the Tourism sector had incurred losses to the tune of Rs 33,675 crore due to the COVID-19 situation. A rejuvenation package had been announced in the budget for the sector and Rs 30 crore had been earmarked for it as government share for its revival.
In addition to the existing provision of Rs 100 crore, Rs 50 crore had been additionally earmarked to the Tourism Department for marketing in the recently presented maiden budget of the second Pinarayi Vijayan government.