The fear of disease and epidemic post the Kerala floods is likely to keep travellers away from the state, keeping the hotel occupancy rate in September below 20-25 per cent, against 60 per cent in the same month last year, a report said Monday.
Over 400 people have died in the deluge in Kerala last month, impacting 10 of the 14 districts in the state.
"Fear of disease and epidemic is keeping all but unavoidable travel away. Basis preliminary cancellations, occupancy in September is unlikely to cross 20-25 per cent. It was around 60 per cent during the same period last year," rating agency Icra said in its report.
Occupancies were under 10 per cent during August across several premium properties in Kerala, even in business districts, according to the report.
However, he feels this might take longer based on history and analysis, which indicates that the return of foreign tourists might be more gradual, over 12 to 16 month.
"Domestic travellers would return faster," he said.
Travel and tourism accounts for 10 per cent of Kerala's gross state domestic product (GSDP) and 25 per cent of the jobs in the state.
During 2017, domestic tourists to Kerala grew by 11.4 per cent to 147 lakh tourists, while foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) grew by 5.2 per cent to 10.9 lakh tourists.
Total foreign exchange from the tourism sector during 2017 grew by 8.3 per cent to Rs 8,392 crore, while the total revenue from tourism grew by 12.6 per cent to Rs 33,384 crore.
Ponniah said although the floods have occurred during a monsoon-off-season for Kerala, most hotels, even those not affected by the floods, are already facing significant cancellations, running into the peak season in October and November.
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