#CongregationsIndia: COVID-19 Vaccine Key for Kerala Tourists to Overcome Fear of Travel: MP Joseph

Industry Watch | December 30, 2020 | News

MP Joseph Kerala Tourism Martin Emmanuel Congregations India EEMA

“The benefit of the COVID-19 vaccine should be given to the Travel and Tourism industry to attract tourists and give them the confidence to visit Kerala,” said MP Joseph, IAS (Retired), former Advisor to the Government of Kerala, former Additional Chief Secy and former UN International civil servant, speaking at ‘CONGREGATIONS INDIA: Government, Political, Sport & Religious Events Summit’ organised by EVENTFAQs Media on December 24, 2020.

In conversation with session moderator Martin Emmanuel, Executive Director, Razzmatazz Ventures, Joseph said that since a large part of the economy of Kerala is dependent on Travel and Tourism, he would like the industry to push the Government of Kerala and Government of India to give priority in administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, because if the Tourism industry operators are made immune to COVID-19, then tourists will feel confident about visiting the State.


EEMA should define safety protocols

Joseph said, “The biggest challenge is to overcome the fear of travel and the Government of Kerala has to open up the Tourist sectors soon and ensure that Kerala becomes the safest destination by strictly adhering to the safety protocols. I feel bodies like EEMA should define and determine what these measures or protocols are to be, and place them before the Government, so that the Government can approve them legally and they can be shared publicly across the States and overseas.”

Potential of events-led tourism

“Unlike other States, Kerala doesn’t have many events of its own. Over the last few years, the Cochin festival has attracted national and overseas tourists, but there’s so much more that can be done and we should develop more events as a tourist package. The Tourism Minister must step in to complement this and use it as a tourist event. There are other festivals in Kerala too, which can be brought together to promote our culture and tourism nationally and internationally,” added Joseph.

As the mayor of Cochin Corporation and Collector of Ernakulam district, Joseph suggested Cochin has various tourist attractions and with the help of infrastructural additions like sidewalks and better footpaths, cycle tracks with scenic views and hop-on-hop-off bus services, Kerala can be made into a much more tourist-friendly place.

New normal is the way forward

When moderator Martin asked about his experience as an administrator and what we must do to return to the old normal, across education, work, trade, travel, tourism, events and other aspects of life and economy, Joseph said, “I don’t think we can ever return to the old normal. Life moves on and it will be the New Normal. Things are going to be cleansed, different and better. Office spaces will be reduced. Virtual has already become the new normal. Online education will be more accessible across the country. The Travel and Tourism industry need not fear that virtual tourism will take over, as it will only whet your appetite for actual travel. So, the Travel and Tourism ministry’s role is to make it safe and secure for a traveller and make them feel confident to travel again.”

Concluding the session, Joseph shared his good wishes and encouraged all the Government servants across India who are tirelessly working to help the nation at this juncture.

Speaking at the summit, MP Joseph, IAS (Retired), outlined how Kerala is leveraging travel and tourism in the State, setting up infrastructure and looking forward to the new normal.

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