Kochi, Apr 7 (PTI) Kerala Travel Mart Society (KTM) today appealed to the political parties and other organisations to exclude tourists and tourism-related activities from the strike on Monday and avoid inconvenience to the travellers.

They observed that the frequent strikes in Kerala were a huge dampener for the revenue-generating tourism industry.

The KTM s appeal came in wake of the April nine dawn to dusk hartal called by Dalit organisations to protest against the alleged police action on Dalits during a Bharat Bandh in North Indian states last week.

KTM President Baby Mathew said that the proposed hartal would cause huge inconvenience to the people visiting Kerala as they would be stranded at airports and railway stations.

Kerala was relying heavily on tourism and the sector would be severely affected by hartals.

“Forcibly shutting down all activities is not desirable for any state. It will convey a wrong message to the outside world which will weaken the tourism industry in Kerala,” he said.

If the trend continued, it would deter investors and industrialists from setting up their enterprises in Kerala as there was no guarantee for the safety of their workers and belongings, he said.

Also, the tourists would find it unpalatable to visit the state again as they are left stranded on a hartal day without food and adequate transport, he said in a release here.

“It took around 25-30 years of hard work for the tourism industry to achieve the current level of growth in the state and frequent strikes will affect its long-term prospects. It will surely send a wrong signal to both domestic and international tourists,” he said.

In 2017, Kerala recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals in the past nine years, with a 10.94 per cent rise as compared to the figures in the preceding year.

The year 2017 also recorded the highest number of domestic tourist arrivals in the past nine-year period, with the number posting an 11.39 per cent rise compared with 2016, he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.