A day after the Kerala government declared the novel coronavirus as a 'state calamity', Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Tuesday said the epidemic outbreak had begun affecting the tourism sector as hotel bookings have suffered mass cancellations.
After the Nipah virus and deadly floods, the coronavirus outbreak has also adversely impacted the holiday industry as hotel bookings during the February-March months have been cancelled widely across the state, he said in the state Assembly during the question hour.
Three students, including a woman medico, from the state who studied in Wuhan university in China had tested positive for the virus in Thrissur, Alappuzha and Kasaragod districts in the last few days, following which the LDF government declared the epidemic as a 'state calamity' on Monday night.
The negative propaganda during the time of Nipah had cost the tourism industry dearly, the minister noted.
"The same thing is happening now as reports of Coronavirus outbreak came up. This time, the impact is more severe... As soon as the reports came, all the hotel bookings for February-March months, which were all filled, have been cancelled," Sureandran said.
Urging media to exercise self-restraint during the time of calamities and keep themselves away from fear-mongering, the minister said blowing up issues beyond proportion was largely affecting tourism industry.
"There is no doubt that we should be vigilant. But, there is no need to create scare among public," he added.