Tourism Minister launches portal to apply for loans under Revolving Fund

Scheme offers interest-free loans up to Rs 10,000 for tourism sector employees
Tourism Minister Shri P A Mohamed Riyas today launched the online portal for submitting applications to avail interest-free loans up to Rs 10,000 from the Revolving Fund set up by the State Government for the employees of the pandemic-hit tourism sector.

Noting that tourism was seriously impacted by the staggered pandemic, Shri Riyas said on the occasion that Kerala was the only state in the country to come out with a loan scheme to give a handholding to the employees in the sector as part of the government’s initiatives to revive tourism.

 “The pandemic has seriously affected people, who are directly and indirectly linked to tourism sector. No other state in the country has announced a scheme like this for the workers in tourism sector,” the Minister said.

Referring to innovative schemes on the anvil to ramp up tourism in the state, he said “Like Caravan tourism, the government is considering the idea of coming out with more riveting initiatives. Tourism and Culture Departments will join hands to explore the scope of promoting Cinema Tourism in the state,” Shri Riyas said.

People would find it amusing to visit the locations of their favourite films even decades after the release. There are lot of picturesque locations that had been featured in popular flicks. The Department of Tourism will explore the project’s possibility in all districts, he added.  

Shri V K Prasanth MLA presided over the function. Corporation Councillor Dr. Reena KS and Kerala Travel Mart Society President, Shri Baby Mathew were present. Tourism Director, Shri. VR Krishna Teja welcomed the gathering and State Responsible Tourism Mission Coordinator, Shri K Rupeshkumar, proposed the Vote of Thanks.

Dr. Venu V, Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism), said the credit for conceiving and implementing this unique scheme to support tourism sector employees goes entirely to the Tourism Minister.  

“This will be a stimulus especially for small and micro enterprises in the industry,” Dr. Venu added.

The Revolving Fund, with an initial corpus of Rs 10 crore, has been set up as part of a set of government initiatives to reactivate the tourism industry, which provides jobs to hundreds across the state. 

Under the scheme, the beneficiaries can avail up to Rs 10,000 without furnishing any collateral security. The loan needs to be repaid within two years after a one- year moratorium period. 

Those seeking loan under the scheme can apply by accessing the portal www.keralatourism.org/revolving-fund and give the required details like name, e-mail id, mobile phone number, bank account and other relevant personal information. 

Employees in a range of enterprises or activities related to travel and hospitality industry will be eligible for the loan. Those engaged in units registered under the Responsible Tourism (RT) mission are also entitled for the loan.

As per the provisions of the fund, the applicant should be working in an entity which has membership of a recognized tourism sector organization such as the Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) Society and other similar trade organisations.  

The recognized organisation to which the business entity is affiliated will ensure that the loans availed by the employees are repaid promptly. The beneficiary will have to repay the loan within two years after the one-year moratorium period. Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) Society recently entered into an agreement with the Tourism Department in this regard.

The fund seeks to support employees in a wide range of businesses like travel agencies, tour operators, tourist taxi services, houseboats and shikara boats, hotels, resorts, restaurants, homestays and serviced villas, Ayurveda resorts and spas, adventure tourism ventures, micro units under RT mission, members of performing and martial arts troupes and licensed tour guides. 

A panel, constituted by the Government of Kerala with Tourism Director as Chairman and RT Mission State Coordinator as Convener and representatives of the travel and tourism trade organisations as members, has been formed to look into the applications and sanction the loans. 

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