“Impact of Nipah virus and recovery measures implemented by Kerala Tourism”.
Prof. Ashish Parthasarathy
19th may 2018 was a fateful day in Kozikode and Mallapuram in Kerala where the epidemic nipah virus broke out. A total number of 14 cases were reports where there were 12 fatal cases [As on 24th May 2018]. The increase in the fatality rate caused tension across the south Indian states of India. With the high fatality rate of the epidemic – Nipah, Tourist and travelers who had plans to visit Kerala Cancelled their intention to visit Kerala. The cancellation of tourist visits to Kerala led to approximately 50-60% of the cancellations (Paul, 2018) Nipah virus (NiV) is a zoonotic virus (it is transmitted from animals to humans) and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly between people. In infected people, it causes a range of illnesses from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis (WHO, 2018) The case fatality rate is estimated at 40% to 75%. This rate can vary by outbreak depending on local capabilities for epidemiological surveillance and clinical management. (WHO, 2018) Kerala is one of the best promoted states of India for tourism. Tourism plays a major role in the contribution towards the Kerala Economy. Tourism contributes approximately 10 Percent of the states GSDP (Wikipedia, 2018) .With the contribution of approximately 10% of the GSDP of Kerala, The breakout of this epidemic caused a fluctuation of the perception of positivity of Kerala tourism With respect to health safety. The cancellation of 50-60% of the bookings hampered the livelihood of most of the people who were depended upon tourism. In order to counter this cancellations and to change the perception of travel to Kerala because of the epidemic Nipah Virus, Tourism minister Mr. Kadakampally Surendran and his team of tourist officials have started an online campaign for the famous Neelakurinji Season. This is a once in 12 year Phenomenon which happens in Munnar. The State Tourism ministry has started a full-fledged campaign in order to attract tourist all across the globe. The Transportation facilities have been increased and coordination by many state tourism departments like KSTDC, DTPC, Etc., Measures of Waste management and disaster management has been taken into consideration since the footfall is predicted to be considerably large compared to the normal flow of tourists.