Owners of homestays in Kodagu finally have something to cheer about
After nearly eight months, homestays across Kodagu have received bookings — for Christmas and the year-end. Nearly 50 to 60% occupancy has been recorded since the beginning of this month in registered and active homestays, say industry insiders.
Many resorts, especially the high-end ones, have been booked till the year-end even as the Kodagu district administration has issued guidelines to the hospitality sector on the dos and don’ts for New Year’s Eve revelry.
Kodagu Homestays’ Association founder secretary and past president Karumbaiah said, “Homestays are getting more bookings from couples and families and not group bookings like earlier. With curbs on celebrations and gatherings, playing music, bonfires, and dancing in place, homestays have been told to stick to the guidelines.”
Last year, all homestays were booked for the entire December. As of now, about 50% are booked, it’s a big improvement when compared with previous months. “More enquiries are coming from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kerala, and also from Maharashtra,” he added.
However, there is a shortage of rooms in some places as not all registered homestays have opened. Many have decided to take bookings only from the next year.
B.G. Ananthashayana, president of the association, said the 2018 and 2019 calamities devastated tourism in Kodagu and this year it is the turn of the pandemic. “But there seems to be signs of revival, going by the bookings for the New Year. People are now coming out to holiday in Kodagu without any fear. This is a big relief for us and homestays have been told to take all precautions,” he added.
He clarified that there is no bar on tourists coming to Kodagu but there are curbs on celebrations.
While homestays and resorts are getting bookings, it is not the case with hotels. The response is poor for budget hotels, said B.R. Nagendra Prasad, president of the Kodagu Hotels, Restaurants and Resorts Association.
“The hotel sector does not have high hopes for the New Year since curbs have been imposed. We knew this and therefore we are not investing much since not many tourists will be coming to celebrate,” he said, adding that it may take some more time for tourism to revive fully in Kodagu.”