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Ramping up tourism facilities state-wide with an aim at boosting the sector, hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kerala government on Sunday launched 18 projects, completed at a cost of INR 40.46 crore.
The projects, inaugurated by Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran through videoconferencing, include destination development of Kovalam Phase 1 — Samudra Beach park area and Grove Beach area, Kovalam– at a cost of INR 9.9 crore and beautification and interlocking of Mulavilakam Footpath at Kovalam at a cost of INR 52 lakh.
In his address, the Minister said the domino effect of COVID-19 was reflected in the tourism sector and was expected to continue for some more time. But the government did not allow the pandemic to hamper the implementation of the tourism sector projects.
“The state government has initiated a lot of special projects for the revival of the sector, where around 15 lakh people are employed directly and indirectly. Last year, we got INR 45,000 crore overall income from the tourism sector, which was an all-time record,” he said.
The Minister said that with the inauguration of these 18 tourism projects in seven districts, the government has completed more than 100 projects in the last six months. Eighty percent of the 300 tourism projects given administrative sanction after the government came to power have now been completed, he said. “No other government in the history of Kerala has implemented so many projects in the tourism sector,” he added.
Rani George, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Kerala, said that in the face of the most adverse circumstances, the tourism sector has shown the potential to overcome them all. “We have set an example for other states through our aggressive and multi-pronged strategy to defy all odds. The new projects will be a big boost to the locations in the seven districts,” she added.
Noting that renovation of MHP sites will make the visit to these spots more attractive, Tourism Director P Bala Kiran said the completed projects also contributed to the basic infrastructure development of the respective locations.