Kerala Tourism help desk comes to the aid of foreign tourists
By Pinkerala News Desk | Mar 20, 2020
Young and ebullient Miriam Skovgard Mahony, a Danish tourist who landed in Kerala this month, had enjoyed her trip to the state to the hilt and was all set to fly back to her European country from Kochi with loads of pleasant memories and hospitality of God’s Own Country.
But the 25-year-old Dane was caught in a quandary as she could not find a hotel accommodation at Willingdon Island. However, a resort in the area came to her rescue and offered her food. The resort contacted the Kerala Government’s Department of Tourism, which has just set up a help desk to swiftly address any problem tourists in the state could face in view of the Coronavirus crisis. And the help came straightaway.
In the small hours of Wednesday, the Kochi office of Kerala Tourism swung into action. "Our staff soon came to the scene and took Miriam to our hotel run by the KTDC in Bolgatty Island, not far from where she was stranded," Kerala Tourism Secretary Mrs. Rani George said.
In a similar instance late on Tuesday, Kerala Tourism intervened in the relief of four tourists in another part of Kochi. A third such incident happened in Alappuzha.
At Fort Kochi, Australian Goodger Ben Julian and American Andrey Sergeevich besides Singaporeans Thia Martha Augastine and Amy Marie had booked rooms in a hotel. They were dismayed when all four were refused accommodation because of the Corona scare.
Like Miriam, they also contacted the Kerala Tourism help desk, which ensured that not a minute was wasted to address their problem and put them at ease. The Circle Inspector of Police, too, intervened and the tourists soon got their accommodation.
At an Alappuzha hotel, US national Alan was asked to present medical certificates that showed him disease-free. The man rang up the help desk, which took him to the nearest hospital on the advice of the District Medical Officer. As a precautionary measure, he was moved to the isolation ward of a hospital.
Tourism Minister Shri. Kadakampally Surendran said there has been a one-off claim (in the social media) where a phone call to the help desk set up on Tuesday was not attended. "I believe it was an aberration. The facility has been functioning to the best of its capacity," he added.
The minister pointed out that all but two of the 19 British tourists who were sent back from the Nedumbassery airport continue to be taken care of in a hotel at Kalamassery, 20 km north of Kochi.
This was done after they were recommended to stay in quarantine last week.
Two others among them are a couple, who are being given treatment. "Of them, as you know, the husband had tested positive for Covid-19," he recalled, adding that the government was meeting his medical expenses. "The wife is under observation."
The Kerala Tourism help desk has been getting similar calls from tourists, for whom prompt help is being arranged, the minister added.
By Pinkerala | Mar 30, 2020TATA TRUSTS, announcing 500 crores to fight COVID-19 crisis
By Pinkerala | Mar 30, 2020Kalyan Jewellers earmarks Rs. 10 crores to fight COVID-19
By Pinkerala | Mar 30, 2020KSUM’s Linways launches app enabling continued schooling in corona times
By Pinkerala | Mar 28, 2020