Kerala’s Caravan Tourism project gets a KSIDC leg up; loans on offer

Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation to finance purchase of vehicles to be used in Caravan Tourism

The pandemic lull that had crept into the tourism scenario in Kerala had been offset to a great extent with fresh measures undertaken by the state’s Department of Tourism. Among them was the unique Caravan Tourism project, christened Keravan Kerala.

The Caravan Tourism policy, announced by Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas in September, has already generated good response from the industry since its online registration process began a month ago.

Envisaged as a stakeholder-friendly project, Keravan Kerala is set to bring tourism back on its on wheels. Furthering the boost that has been provided to the project, the state’s investment promotion agency Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has come out with an attractive scheme to provide loans up to Rs. 5 crore to purchase tourist caravans and set up caravan parks.

Enterprises keen on Caravan Tourism can avail loans

As per the scheme, an enterprise is entitled to get a loan of up to Rs. 1 crore per caravan, or 70 per cent of the cost, for purchasing up to five vehicles. The range of loan is between Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 1 crore per vehicle. The loans will be available only to buy new vehicles, said a Kerala Tourism source.

The interest would be at a floating 8.75 per cent, with a 0.5 per cent rebate for prompt repayment. The loan would have to be repaid in 84 months after a 12-month moratorium.

Enterprises such as existing resorts and resort groups, fleet owners and tour operators and repatriates would be eligible for the loan.

According to MG Rajamanickam IAS, Managing Director, KSIDC, “Keravan Kerala is going to be an initiative that redefines tourism in the state. The response to the policy within a short span of its announcement has been encouraging. As the Government’s nodal agency for industrial and investment promotion, KSIDC sees it as a highly rewarding investment avenue for entrepreneurs.”

Caravan Tourism
The interior of a Caravan that will join the ‘Keravan Kerala’ Caravan Tourism project

Loan scheme to add thrust to the project

It is expected that the KSIDC loan scheme would provide additional muscle to the project, which is set to take off soon. The policy offers attractive incentives for the investors. The two components of the initiative are caravan operation and setting up caravan parks across the state, for which clear-cut procedures and protocols have been laid down to ensure a pleasant experience for visitors.

Going by the policy that has been outlined, the first 100 caravans will get a subsidy of Rs 7.50 lakh or 15 per cent of the cost. The next 100 vehicles will get Rs 5 lakh or 10 per cent of the cost.  For 201 to 300, it will be Rs 2.50 lakh or 5 per cent of the cost. The subsidy will be available for five caravans for an individual investor or a group, for three years, the tourism department source added.

Automotive companies, travel and hospitality players, and local self-government institutions have already elicited interest in the Keravan Kerala project, and the numbers are expected to grow.

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