With programmes organised by various agencies to mark Summer having concluded and the inflow of tourists steadily decreasing, the curtain has come down on the 2010 summer tourist season in the Blue Mountains.

The season, according to many of those interviewed by The Hindu, was different in many ways.

While officials said that the number of persons who had come here this summer was quite high, hoteliers belonging to different categories said that they had done good business and traders said that the season had been encouraging.

Meanwhile both the casual observers and those who have been keeping track of the successive seasons over the decades told The Hindu that the just-concluded season provided a great deal of food for thought.

Adverting to the considerable increase in the number of tourists this Summer, they pointed out that they belonged to different categories.

While until recently the majority of the tourists came here to enjoy the weather, the scenic beauty and the peace, now many of the visitors were not only oblivious to the noisy atmosphere but also added to the cacophony.

While earlier the tourists looked for spots which set the Blue Mountains apart, now many preferred to spend time in public places which offered recreation facilities like Merry-Go-Round and Giant Wheel.

Stating that this trend is likely to continue, the observers hoped that the authorities concerned will suitably upgrade the existing infrastructural facilities.

Practically throughout the season the main roads were heavily littered. It kept the civic authorities on their toes.

The heavy inflow of tourists proved that despite several shortcomings, particularly deplorable civic amenities, the reputation of this hill station as a major vacation destination was intact.

While the police did a good job in managing traffic and crime control was effective, drinking water was not a source of concern, despite the huge floating population.

A striking feature of the season was the presence of an abnormally large number of pavement hawkers from the plains.

The system of collecting parking fees was reduced to a racket with a number of unscrupulous persons going all out to make a fast buck.

The three-day Annual Floral Carnival at the Government Botanical Garden and the Rose Show in the Government Rose Garden were organized in a commendable manner.

The fruit show in Coonoor, the Vegetable Show in Kotagiri and a Spice Show in Gudalur went down well with the tourists and the locals.

With the Nilgiris Collector Archana Patnaik taking a personal interest, the Summer Festival was an interesting mixture of different kinds of events including a couple of new ones.

The Dog Show of the South India Kennel Club (SIKC) was of a high order.

The Boat Race and the Boat Pageant in the Ooty Lake were entertaining.

A vintage car rally was a visual treat. A photo exhibition on the Nilgiris was an eye opener.

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