The Kerala government will work on a project that promotes Fort Kochi as the state’s foremost tourist destination, Tourism Minister Shri P A Mohamed Riyas said today.
Authorities will convene a special meeting on this matter and take the plan forward once the current wave of Covid-19 subsides, he told newspersons after visiting Fort Kochi’s South Beach that suffered sea erosion recently.
Vaccination for Kerala Tourism employees, including guides, will soon be completed.
As for the restoring the South Beach here, a renovation project will be drafted after holding discussions with pertinent departments, Shri Riyas said.
The developments on recent tourism projects such as a toilet complex and floating Koothambalam were also discussed by the Minister.
Earlier in the day, the Minister chaired a meeting that took an overview of road construction in the hilly regions of Ernakulam district, and said the place had several centres which can boost tourism.
Authorities are taking measures to rejuvenate the district’s tourist destinations even as the sector has been badly hit by the pandemic, Shri Riyas said after the meeting at the Guest House in Pattimattom, 35 km northeast of Fort Kochi. Problems faced by the Kadabrayar Boating Centre and Eco Village at nearby Kizhakkambalam will be solved at the earliest, he added.
Ernakulam district has immense tourism potential as it also houses the Kochi international airport in Nedumbassery. The district has several destinations which foreign tourists can visit once the pandemic is over, the Minister said.
Authorities are currently busy improving the connectivity between these tourist destinations to woo domestic travellers, he added.
Every year June is observed as aphasia awareness month all over the world. However, most people have not heard of the term 'Aphasia'. Aphasia is a communication disorder resulting from brain damage. According to the National Aphasia Association (2012) 40% of stroke survivors will also have aphasia, then an estimated 7500 people who live in Kerala may have aphasia (Dalal, 2007). According to the literature, the number of persons with aphasia in the country is likely to be around two million. The awareness about aphasia can pave the way for better communication experiences for people living with aphasia.
Aphasia affects the ability to speak, write and/ or understand language. It usually occurs following a stroke or head injury affecting the language areas of the brain. Aphasia can have other associated conditions like paralysis, cognitive issues, swallowing difficulties, psychological concerns like depression etc.
Aphasia can severely affect a person’s quality of life by interfering with your job, relationships and daily functioning. Lack of awareness of a disease or disorder may affect general access to services for that disorder. Lack of awareness of aphasia and its symptoms may negatively impact access to aphasia services for the people who need them.
Following medical intervention, a multi-disciplinary teamwork from professionals is a prerequisite for rehabilitation of individuals with aphasia. The rehabilitation team can include a speech therapist, a physiotherapist, an Occupational therapist and a clinical psychologist. Among the professionals involved, the role of a speech therapist is to assess, diagnose and treat the speech, language, cognitive and swallowing issues which can be present in an individual with Aphasia. Speech therapists also help in guiding the family members of the individual with aphasia as their role is inevitable in the rehabilitation process.
If a person with stroke exhibits the following issues, it is important to consult a speech therapist;
Difficulty in speaking (say short/ incomplete/ nonsense sentences)
Substitute one word for another or one sound for another
Not understand other people's conversation
Write sentences that don't make sense
Difficulty to identify letters for reading
Difficulty to recall words
At National Institute of Speech and Hearing , Trivandrum , a unit for Acquired Neuro- communication Disorders (AND) under the Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology is functioning for the rehabilitation of individuals with aphasia and also individuals with other acquired neuro-communication disorders. The unit focuses on the assessment, treatment and counselling of children and adults with acquired neuro-communication disorders. Also, the unit collaborates with other professional services like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychological consultations, and hearing screening to improve the overall quality of life of a person with aphasia.0
Channel Manager software to link KTDC with global networks
Tourism Minister Shri P A Mohamed Riyas today said the online booking system of the hotels of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) will be upgraded by this month-end with the introduction of Channel Manager Software to make the booking of rooms from any part of the world quick and hassle-free.
This was disclosed by the Minister while on a visit to Hotel Mascot and Hotel Grand Chaithram of KTDC here to review the progress of their renovation projects launched to elevate the hospitality facilities and services of Kerala Tourism to global standards to meet the post-pandemic surge.
The upgrading of the online booking system is the first major step to connect the prime properties of KTDC to global tourism networks. The system will connect KTDC hotels with major booking websites like Booking.com, Agoda and Indian booking engines like Make My Trip, Goibibo and IRCTC of the Indian Railways, giving them greater international visibility, ShriRiyas said.
The Minister took stock of the status of various works, including the renovation of the Rooftop Restaurant and Heritage Block at the over a century-old Hotel Mascot and the restaurant, rooms and conference hall at Hotel Grand Chaithram.
“The ongoing projects will raise the comfort and quality of services of these two top hotels of KTDC to international standards. The projects will be completed within the timeframe set for them,” ShriRiyas said after discussions with Tourism Director and KTDC MD Shri V R Krishna Teja IAS and senior officials present.
The quality and choice of dishes served in KTDC restaurants will also be improved, by including local delicacies in their menu, which will make the food served by them appealing to the local patrons as well as tourists. The ambience and service of all allied facilities at KTDC hotels will also be improved.0
A second wave of Covid-19 and the ensuing restrictions can eliminate the tourism sector in Kerala, the industry’s captains and workers fear, announcing they will observe May 1 as Black Day to press the state government to resolve the grave issue.
The Tourism SamrakshanaSamithi, while noting that the segment was struggling even amid a stimulus package from the government, said the future looked bleaker with the prospects of massive job loss and shutdown of allied businesses.
Even those generating some revenue out of tourism are in dire straits, noted the umbrella body for 20 organisations. It will observe the Labour Day state-wide this time by wearing black masks, and further announce the grimness in the sector by carrying out a social media campaign with #SaveTourism as the hashtag.
Tourism has been a mainstay of the Kerala economy with the sector generating an income of Rs 44,000 crore annually and providing employment to 15 lakh people both directly and otherwise. For 14 months now, tourism in the state has been struggling to come out of the travails in the wake of the pandemic.
Towards October last year, tourism showed faint signs of improvement, but they weren’t enough to inspire confidence among the stakeholders in the sector. Many of them stared at big-time debt, attachment of property andmounting arrears in the payment of taxes and bills on water and power. Besides, extra expenses were incurred to meet the Covid-19 protocols.
Into February this year, Kerala topped the country’s list on Covid-positive patients, reducing the inflow of domestic tourists to a trickle. What’s more, other state governments imposed a law that necessitated a Covid-negative certificate from Kerala-returned tourists.
Amid the worsening situation, the second wave of Covid-19 currently led he administration to imposer further restrictions on travel. Of the 18,000 people who tested Covid-positive the other day, only 269 were from outside Kerala — and none of them in the state as tourists. Even so, none in the tourism sector has so far tested positive for the novel coronavirus, showing the earnestness of its workers in following the Covid-19 protocols.
The Samithi has proposed to the authorities to give all tourism workers immediate access to the vaccine against Covid-19. It wants the jobless to be provided Rs 5,000 a month, a package aiding the labour involved in tourism, exemption of taxes and fees for tourist vehicles and houseboats, moratorium on paying tax arrears, cancellation of KFC’s blood bank policy, remove the fixed charge on power for hotels and concession on bills. The organisation also sought the withdrawal of clamp on tourist movements, not make RTPCR testing compulsory for tourists visiting Kerala and returning, and a 24-month moratorium on GST.
The organisations under the Samithiwith Sudheesh Kumar as the convenor include Association of Tourism Trade Organisations (ATTOI), Confederation of Accredited Tour Operators (CATO), South Kerala Hoteliers Forum (SKHF), Kerala Tourism Protection and Development Council (KTPDC) and Kovalam Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHRA).
ITB India and Saudi Tourism Authority announce exclusive partnership
The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) and ITB India have announced Saudi as the Official Partner Country of ITB India 2021. The inaugural ITB India Virtual Event, being held on 7 - 9 April 2021, is an annual B2B trade show and conference specifically curated to build a bridge to the Indian and South Asian travel market. STA is responsible for raising awareness of Saudi, the authentic home of Arabia, as a destination. The organization is focused on developing partnerships with travel trade partners around the world, to expand the reach of Saudi’s tourism offer and to drive conversion in key source markets. The Saudi Tourism Authority is building a global community dedicated to driving awareness of Saudi as a unique tourism destination offering authentic Arabian experiences to cultural explorers from around the world, said Fahd Hamidaddin, Chief Executive Officer of STA. The destination’s wealth of heritage sites, its dynamic urban centers and the warm hospitality of the Saudi people make it a compelling destination for travelers seeking the new, unexpected stories that make a journey truly memorable. As the Official Partner Country of ITB India, Saudi Tourism Authority will showcase an array of current tourism offerings and destination highlights as well as the exciting new developments on the horizon. Tourism is a strategic industry for the future of Saudi Arabian and the country is the world’s largest investor in sustainable tourism infrastructure and offerings. Projects such as the Red Sea and Amaala are setting new global standards in the development and management of tourism in harmony with the natural world. And new sites like AlUla and Diriyah are offering visitors a hitherto unexplored insight into the rich cultural history of Arabia. Saudi offers Indian travelers a unique experience, grounded in Saudi hospitality and redolent of Arabian mystery, said Fahd Hamidaddin. Our partnership with ITB India is an important part of our long-term objective to engage, inspire, invite and delight Indian travelers to Saudi.
ITB India attendees will have an opportunity to visit Saudi Tourism Authority’s digital exhibition booth and arrange one-on-one meetings with STA representatives to learn more about the destination.0