All-time high allocation for tourism marketing

An amount of ₹100 crore has been allocated to the tourism sector badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sector will return to normalcy by 2021-22, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said in the Budget. An additional ₹25 crore would be provided for intensive marketing to achieve this end.

Champions Boat League, which was suspended owing to the pandemic, would resume in 2021-22. For the IPL-modelled boat races, ₹20 crore has been given.

The government has announced setting up of Kerala Tourism Workers Welfare Fund Board.

Top priority is being given to Heritage Spice Route Project and Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode will also become part of it in 2021-22, in addition to Muziris, Alappuzha, and Thalassery heritage projects that have been given ₹40 crore.

A special programme has been prepared for students to visit and learn about Muziris project locations and ₹5 crore has been earmarked to encourage such study tours.

Munnar train to be revived

At the famed hill station of Munnar, Kerala Tourism will take steps to revive the train service. Dr. Isaac said discussions had been held with TATA estate and they had expressed willingness to relinquish the land.

An amount of ₹117 crore has been allocated for the infrastructural development of existing tourism destinations. In addition to this, ₹25 crore for the renovation of tourism guest houses and ₹13 crore for preservation of heritage architecture in private sector and modern tourism products has been provided.

The Budget has provided ₹10 crore each for tourism hospitality institutions and Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), ₹3 crore for encouragement of modern tourism products, including eco-tourism, ₹7 crore for Kochi Biennale, ₹2 crore for global painting exhibition in Alappuzha, ₹10 crore for other cultural fares, and ₹35 crore to KTDC for disbursing salary to the employees.

A budget hotel with 100 rooms and dormitories of the KTDC will be constructed at a cost of ₹100 crore in the three-acre land at Munnar KSRTC bus stand and 10% of the revenue will be given to KSRTC. The Finance Minister has provided ₹10 crore towards initial expenses. Other major projects are the expansion of the Munnar Botanical Garden, farm tourism, and hydel tourism.

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