As Mysuru decks up for the return of grandeur to the internationally famed Vijaya Dashami (Dasara) celebrations, tourists are also packing their bags to witness the glory. Many tour operators have reported at least a 40% rise in bookings to the city in the backdrop of festivals.
Between September 25 and October 10, many properties in the region are expected to run on 100% occupancy, according to industry experts. The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) has also introduced a special Dasara package to attract more visitors.
“We have one property in Mysuru and one in Srirangapttana. Both are full for the coming weeks. Noticing the increased demand, we have also introduced new packages to Mysuru and might add more according to demand,” said Jagadeesha G., Managing Director, KSTDC.
The first day of Dasara falls on September 26 this year and it will conclude on October 5. The tourism industry, which is on the path to recovery, is hopeful that business will be further enhanced this season and hopefully be better than the pre pandemic times.
“Travel sentiment is at an all-time high as people look forward to celebrating the upcoming festive and winter holiday season like the good old days. Current data indicates that this festive travel season will hopefully witness one of the highest spikes in bookings since the pandemic happened. And this confidence comes at the back of advance bookings that have already surpassed (advance) bookings for the festive season in 2019 by over 12%. As we inch closer to the festive dates, we expect the numbers to move swiftly,” said Vipul Prakash, Chief Operating Officer, MakeMyTrip and Goibibo.
While an almost 30 – 40% surge in bookings to Mysuru has been seen when compared to the previous months, a further rise of 40 – 50% is expected in the dates running up to the festival. Tour operators believe that the efforts which are being made by the government to promote tourism during the festival have been working out well this year.
“Since last year, there has been an approximate 70% increase in Mysuru reservations”, said Rikant Pittie, Co-founder, EaseMyTrip. He added “During the 10-day festivities, the city attracts thousands of visitors, particularly on “Vijaya Dashami,” the day of Jamboo Savari. There was a noticeable decrease in number during COVID-19. But this year, the government made the decision to use a variety of activities to establish the event as an international brand and to take action to promote Dasara in the nation’s airports. This undeniably points to a sharp rise in the number of people travelling to the city for celebrations.”
Many attractions close by
While most bookings to the heritage city have come from within Karnataka, international tourists are also set to make a comeback this year for the royal event. “Mysuru is one of the most well-liked getaways among both Indian and foreign tourists because there are so many interesting places to see nearby. Weekend getaways near Mysuru are the ideal combination of hill towns, wilderness areas, and trekking routes,” Mr. Pittie added.
Demand has also grown considerably for destinations like Bandipur National Park, Kabini, Chikkamagaluru and other similar destinations for the coming weeks. “Our customers prefer travelling to destinations like Kodagu and Ooty while visiting Mysuru during the festive celebrations. There is increasing demand for Kabini River and Kerala; also, spa-wellness getaways,” said Santhosh Kanna, Vice President, Leisure Travel – Thomas Cook (India) Limited.
Other attractions in and around Mysuru like Brindavan Gardens, the Amba Vilas palace, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens and Chamundi Hills remain favourite to the visitors, as always, industry representatives added.