Karnataka: Tourism industry pins hope on festive season | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: With fresh Covid-19 cases falling and with all economic sectors resuming operations, the travel and tourism industry — hard hit by the pandemic — is pinning its hopes on Dasara holidays and the festive season to reverse losses and revive fortunes.
As it is, the industry has seen a sharp upswing in business over the past two months, as the number of people visiting tourist spots across the state has increased significantly after the government withdrew curbs on movement. Districts like Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru, Dakshina Kannada and Karwar, which house several major tourist spots, have been witnessing huge footfall, especially on weekends.
“The past month has been really good for hoteliers, homestay owners, and other allied businesses in the tourism sector,” said Tukaram, who runs a hotel in Chikkamagaluru. “Most hotels are seeing 50 to 60% occupancy which was a dream just four months ago. We hope the party will continue during the festive season too since families, that have not ventured out of their homes for over a year now, are expected to set out on tours.”
Government-run Jungle Lodges and Resorts, which has 16 properties across the state, has also been doing good business for the past couple of months. “Our occupancy rate for the past two months is around 50%, which is very good,” said Kumar Pushkar, MD, JLR. “We hope it improves during Dasara. The signs are already there in the form of an increasing number of enquiries.”
Cab and taxi owners are also smiling since bookings have increased. “In the past month, all my vehicles were booked for 15 days for the first time since March 2020. We are hoping to have more such days from now on,” said Ramakrishna, who runs a tours and travel agency in Bengaluru.
However, some players believe the prevailing positive atmosphere may not last through the season. BG Ananthashayana, president, Coorg Homestay Association, said the Kodagu district administration has ordered closure of all tourist spots in the district from October 7 to 18 citing Covid-19 precautions, which is a big blow to businesses.
“This is a clear case of the government and district administration playing spoilsport,” he said, urging the district administration to withdraw the order immediately. “Who will visit the district if all tourist places are closed? It is like rubbing salt on wounds of hoteliers and homestay owners who have suffered huge financial losses over the past 18 months.”

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Sagar Biswas

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