Fort Kochi: ‘A professor from the UK had booked a room at the homestay for 10 days in August. He phoned last day asking to cancel the booking. He said that the trip is going to be called off since the government is refusing to grant visas to foreign travellers,’ says Siyad Saj who runs a homestay in Fort Kochi. The government has not cancelled the restrictions imposed on granting of visas to foreign travellers during the time of Covid, which is now proving to be a blow to the tourism centres like Kochi in Kerala.
There are not many foreigners seen in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry these days. There has been a significant decline in the number of tourists arriving in Kerala after the covid pandemic. Almost 70 per cent of the tourists arriving in Kerala visit Kochi. The part played by foreign travellers in putting Kochi tourism in a good spot is unavoidable.
A new season is arriving post the Covid pandemic lockdowns. It was believed that the travellers will arrive in Kochi with the onset of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race in August. But now it is overshadowed by several concerns.
Usually, around this time of the year, most rooms and homestays in Kochi will be booked completely. Many people frequent the place every year during this time but are currently dazed and unable to decide on their trip due to the restrictions imposed by the government.