There has been an increase in the number of cancellations of trips to parts of Kerala in the past one week, data from travel websites indicates. The outbreak of Nipah virus in Kerala’s Kozhikode district, in which at least 12 people have died, affected monsoon retreat to the state.
For its backwaters, Kerala remains a popular monsoon getaway for travellers from Mumbai. They also flock to the state to receive Ayurvedic treatment during this period.
According to travel websites, travellers are inquiring with the sites if it would be safe to visit the southern state.
Rajeev Kale, president & country head — Holidays, MICE, Visa & Passport Services, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd said, “According to updates received from our local partners, the Union Health Ministry had sent a high-level, multi-disciplinary team to Kerala’s Kozhikode district to probe into the Nipah virus cases and asses the overall situation. We confirm that while we do not have any customers booked to Kozhikode district, our tour operations team is in constant touch with our on-ground partners/suppliers and are closely monitoring the situation to implement preventives that may be required.”
Manheer Singh Sethi, co-founder, Travkart said, “There has been a slowdown movement towards Kerala and travel segment has started taking the hit. We have witnessed a 20 per cent surge in demand for Kerala this season out of which three to four per cent have opted for rescheduling due to impact of Nipah virus.”
Many travellers are delaying their trips to Kerala. As northern part of the state remains most-affected, travellers want to explore other destinations in the state.
Aloke Bajpai, ixigo CEO & Co-founder said, “We have received quite a few queries from concerned travellers who are thinking of delaying their travel plans to Kerala. However, since the problem is confined to North Kerala, we have not observed any visible dip in future bookings or cancellations in the existing ones. We are making sure we keep travellers informed of any update.”
Chembur resident Rahul Joshi, who often travels on business purpose to Kerala said, “As my trip does not involve going to Kozhikode, I will take a short trip this weekend to Kerala on business purpose. While I wanted to take my family along, I won’t be doing so as it involves risk.”
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