On a hartal day, normal life takes a hit in Kerala, with no vehicles plying on roads and shops shut life comes to a standstill and tourists who arrive without prior information bears the brunt. 

 


However, giving a hint that things are slowly changing for the better foreign tourists who arrived in a cruise ship on Sunday had a different story to tell. The 1, 400 tourists enjoyed a trouble-free tour around Kochi with full police protection.

 


The tourists visited local tourist attractions like locales Fort Kochi, Mattancherry and Kumbalanghi.

 


Tour operators breathed a sign of relief when they smoothly finished ferrying foreign tourists from the Cochin International Airport to Wellingdon Island, where the cruise ship AidaBella from Germany had made a stopover and vice versa. 


The buses which transported the tourists were given security cover by police after the state government exempted the tourism sector from hartal called by the LDF. 

 


The decision was taken by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in response to a request by the tourism principal secretary in which it was pointed out that hartal during the peak tourism season could cause severe inconvenience to guests, which would affect the state's image as tourist destination.