Jihad Hussain, the managing director of travel company Gateway Malabar, had to travel to Kozhikode on May 24 despite the district reporting the highest number of casualties due to the Nipah virus. “There is no problem here. Everyone’s going about their lives as usual, with many now getting ready for iftar,” Hussain says over the phone. But beyond the reassurance likes an undercurrent of worry, which brought him to the capital of the eponymous north Kerala district. A big group from a West Asian country had engaged his company’s services for a trip to Kerala in June. But with multiple deaths being reported from the state due to the virus, the travellers were having second thoughts. Hussain had to go to Kozhikode to discuss the matter with the local organiser who had invited the group to smooth things over and reassure the tourists about the situation. The monsoon period of end-May to July is typically off-season for Kerala’s Rs 3,383-crore tourism sector. But this is also the time when the state sees the maximum number of arrivals from West Asian countries. Apart from leisure, a large chunk of these travellers come for medical tourism, as these are the best months… Read full this story
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