Pune: Floods and the resulting chaos in the state of Kerala have affected the business of city-based travel operators as tours from Pune to Kerala have been cancelled. However, travel agents stated that the monsoon being an off-season for the Kerala tourism, the effect is minimal.
“Tourism in Kerala picks up only after October, after the off-season from June to September. During this time, the number of tourists visiting the state from Pune is hardly around 25 per cent of the usual traffic. So, the number of bookings to Kerala was anyway quite low, so was the number of group tours. Additionally, news of incessant rains and flooding of different parts in Kerala is being heard for over 15 days now. So, we were already avoiding the last minute bookings that take place for August,” Nilesh Bhansali, President, Travel Agents Association of Pune (TAAP) said.
He said as far as individual bookings are concerned, most of those, too, happens at the last moment and as flights, too, have been cancelled, many people are themselves opting out of the plans.
“As far as the group tours that were pre-booked, many travel agencies are shifting them to different dates after the monsoon, considering the convenience of the participants,” Bhansali added.
“There are no tourists stranded in Kerala. However, a few people, who went with some of the agents under TAAP are trapped in Munnar, which is a hill station but did not affect by the flood. They are safe, but are not able to travel to any other place,” Pramod Shevde, Director, TAAP, said.
As a part of their social responsibility, members of TAAP, in coordination with similar associations in Kerala, are also contributing towards the Chief Minister Relief Fund to contribute towards relief and rescue operations in the flood-affected parts of Kerala.