MSMEs in tourism in Kerala badly affected by the pandemic

Published on : Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Due to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kerala’s tourism sector losing their market share to mega players, stakeholders have highlighted important need for players in tourism to join the mainstream digital bandwagon, to stay alive and make their presence felt.

MSMEs in tourism, which together generate employment to 80% of approximately 15 lakh workforce, are among the badly affected by the pandemic. The president of Kochi-based Tourism Professionals Club (TPC), George Scaria, who is also a guest lecturer on responsible tourism at a university in Austria, said that almost half the MSME players are uninformed about digital technologies.

Mr. Scaria said that technology has its limitations and human intervention played a major role in making sure that tourists enjoy a memorable trip.

“Especially since the MSME Ministry is proactive and helpful,” he said, pointing to an instance of a bank denying loan to his tour agency that caters mainly to foreign tourists. “I shot off a complaint to the regional officer, who took it up with the bank concerned. A loan-approval letter from the bank followed,” Mr. Scaria said.

Of late, Web CRS Travel Technologies, a Kochi-based Startup India-accredited company, launched a free help desk for propping up MSMEs in the tourism sector. They aim to provide essential professional assistance to MSMEs that are preparing to reopen after the lockdown.

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