Kerala Tourism -The Gap between Potential and Performance

The earnings from foreign and domestic tourists in 2005 amounted to Rs. 5834 crores. In 2009 it was Rs.9975 crores. The indirect revenue generated from tourism is in the range of 40% to 50% of the direct revenue. It is a growing industry and Kerala has immense potential.

Now let us take a look at the profits made by the Government–run hotels during 2009-2010. The list of profit making hotels was topped by Tea County Munnar which earned a profit of 3.08 crores. Next came Lake Palace Thekkady with 1.86 crores, followed by Sabala Restaurant and Beer Parlour with 1.59 crores, and Mascot Hotel, Trivandrum with 1.3 cores. Now look at the loss-makers and your heart will skip a beat. Bolgaty Palace Hotel, Kochi, Garden House, Malampuzha, Hotel Chaithram, Trivandrum, Golden Peak, Ponmudi, and Tamarind Easy Hotels all made modest losses. Some unidentifiable hotels classified as “Miscellaneous Group” made the biggest loss of 3.69 crores. And hold your breath – the net profit or loss of all the Government hotels was a meagre 26.94 lakhs! Yes lakhs, not crores. I didn’t get the figures wrong. (See the Economic Review 2010, Annexure A 121.)

In order to earn 27 lakhs per annum the Government of Kerala runs 27+ hotels. The average earning per hotel is less than one lakh rupees. Friends, to earn this kind of money, do you need to run a hotel?

Has anybody calculated the economic cost of the Munnar demolition drive unleased by VS Achuthanandan? How many crores were lost and by whom? What did the individual owners lose? What did the Government lose? What did Kerala lose? And what is the loss in terms of lost opportunities, business lost, goodwill lost, image lost? Anybody knows?

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