Launched about two decades ago, it is yet to become familiar

The three-day tea and tourism festival begins here on Friday. However, stakeholders wonder when it will contribute to any improvement in both the sectors.

Some of the stakeholders told The Hindu on Thursday that the objective of the festival, launched with much fanfare at Coonoor about two decades ago, was to boost these sectors. But, that was yet to happen.

When the first edition of the festival was organised, it was then announced that the objective was to popularise the Nilgiri tea worldwide and also this vacation destination among those in the hospitality and travel trades within the country and abroad, said N. Chandrashekar, secretary of Nilgiri Hotels and Restaurants Association (NHRA).

Yet to be popular

Two decades had passed and the festival was yet to become familiar even among the tour operators within Tamil Nadu and neighbouring States.

“I hope this year’s festival will be used to look back and look ahead,” he said.

R. Devaraj, a documenter of the Nilgiris culture and tourism said that an exercise should be undertaken to identify shortcomings and introduce features that would do justice to the two sectors.

The dance, music and other programmes that formed part of the festival should go with the ethos of the Blue Mountains.

These should cater to the tastes of different kinds of tourists and not be just a source of noise pollution.

Nilgiris Collector P. Sankar said that steps had been taken to make the festival memorable.

The focus would be on promoting schemes being implemented for the benefit of the tea growers. Seven hotels would put up a food court.

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