Kochi: Packages that were designed to attract tourists during the lean monsoon season has evinced good response in the domestic market. People from North India have been coming to the state to escape the heat and enjoy the rain and the greenery.
This is also the time for honeymoon tourism and various packages are on offer from various vendors. The Tourism Department has decided to go on its own and is offering about ten packages, including Ayurveda, and the packages are being sold through 23 accredited tour operators. Those wanting to come to Kerala can access the Keralatourism.org website and access the link of a tour operator; the deal and details can be finalised between the customer and the vendor.
Called Dream Season, the packages connect Thekadi, Kumarakom, Kovalam, Munnar, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram and offer six days of tours. The Enchanting Kerala package offers 14 days of trips and is available in Economy, Standard, Deluxe and Super Deluxe versions. Ayurveda packages are available for eight days. The packages received much response during June, but have not generated enough response for July.
Other than North India, tourists also come from Arab nations. While Arabs normally come with their families, the Ramzan season has reduced tourist inflow. Some tourists are also discouraged by the new norm that requires them to submit their biometric details at the Indian Embassy.
Tour operators feel that the packages are not doing significantly better than earlier years. They feel that Kerala Tourism is not growing as it should have been. New investments in the sector have also been curtailed. The Tourism Department has requested the government to reconsider the decision to close bars. The general feeling is that Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism has been hit because of the ban on bars. Now that Kerala is not as 'entertaining' as before- with regard to bars- these tourists are moving to Bangalore, Goa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.