In anticipation of doing good business over the extended weekend, which has been facilitated by the Ramzan holiday on Monday, those in the hospitality and travel sectors and others dependent on tourism for a livelihood stepped up preparations on Friday.

While the hospitality sector is busy buying provisions and vegetables, pavement hawkers, including those selling carry-home items such as everlasting flowers, are seen working overtime.

Sources in the hotel and travel trades told The Hindu that though the tourism industry has suffered a setback worldwide due to factors such as swine flu, this vacation destination has been doing quite well vis-a-vis weekenders.

Pointing out that the trend set in a couple of years ago, they said that the hoteliers are now used to being busy on weekends and doing average business on weekdays.

In many of the hotels, the rate of occupancy rose sharply during weekends and went up further during extended weekends.

Many people from different parts of the country have booked rooms here to take a break during this weekend. Notwithstanding chillness and intermittent drizzles, the inflow of weekenders is expected to be good from Saturday. Places like the Government Botanical Garden and the Ooty lake are gearing up to handle more tourists than usual.

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