Kerala rolls out bio-bubble model to revive its tourism sector
Kerala has rolled out a bio-bubble model to revive its tourism sector that opened on Monday for inoculated visitors.
Bio-bubbles are sanitised environments manned by fully vaccinated people, including airport staff, which came into prominence through sporting events such as the Indian Premier League, Indian Super League and even the Tokyo Olympics.
According to a statement from the department of tourism of the southern state, any tourist landing in any of the four international airports in Kerala would meet fully inoculated ground staff and driven to their destinations by fully vaccinated drivers. The staff at their accommodations would also be fully vaccinated.
The only requirement for tourists who have already started arriving in the state are at least the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine or an RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours.
State tourism minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas said that the bio-bubble model would help in the early revival of the tourism sector.
“Safety of guests is non-negotiable as far as Kerala Tourism is concerned. The bio-bubble initiative is meant to ensure that the tourists have a risk-free stay in our state. This is a critical factor for revival of tourism, which has been clobbered by the pandemic,” the press statement quoted Riyas as saying.
“It was with this larger perspective that we successfully carried out the vaccination campaign covering the entire population in Vythiri (Wayanad). This initiative will tell the world that Kerala is a place where you can holiday safely,” he added.
The state has so far vaccinated 43.37 per cent of its population with the first dose and 18.08 per cent with both doses. According to the statement, the initiative would enable the vacationers to move freely within safe zones, including public places such as beaches and backwaters, without any anxiety.
Additional chief secretary of tourism Venu V. recalled how the state has bounced back from natural calamities in the past.
“Kerala Tourism has outlived grim crises like devastating natural calamities like floods and epidemics that battered its infrastructure and economy. We have proved to be resilient by bouncing back from each crisis,” Venus was quoted as saying in the statement.
Director of state tourism V.R. Krishna Teja expected “lockdown-weary” people to travel to safe destinations.
“The lockdown-weary people from all corners of the world will be treading to safe and healthy places when tourism opens up globally and nationally. Going by our natural assets and advanced social milieu, Kerala has immense scope to tap the incoming rush to unpolluted and less crowded spaces,” he said.