Kerala Tourism Dept to conduct virtual Onam celebrations

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PA Muhammad Riyas | Photo:|PAMuhammadRiyas

Thiruvananthapuram: Minister for Tourism P A Mohammad Riyas informed that the tourism department will celebrate Onam virtually due to existing Covid protocols. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the programmes on August 14 at 6 pm.

With the help of visual media, programmes will be conducted to introduce tourist destinations, diverse art and culture and the foods available in Kerala. There will be a ‘world flower arrangement competition’ and the Keralites all over the world can upload photo of their ‘Onam Pookkalam’ in the digital platform of the Tourism department.

Separate prizes will be given to entries sent by the participants from Kerala and abroad. The participants can register on the website from August 10. “The programme will help to include the expats also in our Onam celebrations. We are holding discussions with the Malayalee associations abroad”, said the minister.

The minister added that the programme will highlight the traditional arts of the state and thereby encourage the performers of these arts through the initiative. Several tourist destinations are open now. The government is targeting domestic tourists in this first phase.

The visitors who took the first dose of vaccines will be allowed to stay in the hotels or resorts with vaccinated employees. Instructions were given to allow visitors even in the tourist spots in containment zones by following the Covid guidelines.

Vaccination drive was completed in Vythiri with the help of the Health Department . Abiding to the Covid protocols, visitors shall be allowed in the beaches too. Minister also informed that an app is being designed by connecting the unexplored tourist spots of the state.

Tourism sector of Kerala had faced a serious setback due to the pandemic. A loss of Rs 33,000 crores had been incurred from March 2020 to December 2020. Foreign exchange of Kerala recorded Rs 7,000 crores loss in the same period, said the Tourism Minister.

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