The tourism industry in Mysore is witnessing some buoyancy after a brief lull. Holidaymakers are arriving in the city, ready to celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year.

Most hotels are reporting occupancy rates of 75 per cent to 95 per cent and they expect this to go up in the days ahead.

There was a brief lull in the second week of December following the death of the scion of the Mysore royal family, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, and the palace was closed for a couple of days.

Rajendra of Hotel President, who is a member of the Hotel Industry Association, told The Hindu that the going had been good so far.

He said that Mysore registered good footfall in the December–January period. But there was a surge in tourist arrivals for a week between Christmas and New Year as schools and colleges have holidays.

Dip in arrivals

Mr. Rajendran pointed out that there was a dip in tourist arrivals in the second week of December following the death of Wadiyar.

Occupancy rates in most hotels plummeted to between 40 per cent and 30 per cent. “But, the last week tends to be good and we have seen the occupancy rates, demand for rooms, online reservations and so on go up. Occupancy rates are around 65 per cent to 75 per cent and will increase in the run-up to the New Year,” he added.

Some of the key players in the hospitality sector in the city such as Siddartha, United 21, Sujatha Residency and Guru Residency catering to tourists claimed an occupancy rate of more than 90 per cent.

Though Mysore sees a record number of visitors during Dasara, the majority tend to be local people or those drawn from the hinterland. This does not spell business for stakeholders in the tourism sector.

However, it is from October to January that holidaymakers spend at least a couple of days in the city and this, in turn, has a cascading impact on the hospitality sector, tour and travel agents, souvenir sellers, restaurants and those in the textile business.

Base camp

In recent times, Mysore has emerged as a gateway or a base camp to explore the hinterland of Kodagu. For those on a brief visit to the city, Wayanad in Kerala and Ooty in Tamil Nadu are weekend getaways, while Bandipur and Nagarahole have also emerged as popular tourism spots.

A leading tour operator said taxis that were generally available for hire and easily available for tourists, were booked in advance for the Christmas-New Year season and getting vehicles had become a challenge.

“It is not only tourists visiting Mysore who book the vehicles in advance but many people from Mysore too book the vehicles and go out on a holiday during this period,” said the spokesperson of the agency.

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