Tourism, hospitality sector continues to bleed

The number of visitors to Mysuru palace has remained low.  

The tourism and hospitality sector in Mysuru continues to bleed and register low growth, and the stakeholders are pessimistic of a turnaround despite the unlocking and the dawn of the festival season.

The sector is yet to recoup from the lockdown imposed due to the pandemic and the tourist footfall was also insignificant during the just-concluded Dasara which is a fulcrum to promote tourism during normal times.

The famed Jamboo Savari was confined to the palace premises and only around 300 people were allowed, and even the people of Mysuru were not present thanks to the imperatives of ensuring social distancing to fight COVID-19.

Narayana Gowda of the Mysuru Hotel Owners’ Association said the bookings did not exceed 25% at any point of time during Dasara as against cent per cent occupancy during the pre-pandemic years. There are nearly 8,000 rooms catering to various category of tourists of which only 25% were booked while many hotels have even stopped accepting bookings as they intend to sell the property. “Though a section of the media was projecting a huge turnout especially during nights, they were locals out to view the city illumination and did not make any impact on the tourism sector,” said Mr. Gowda.

Meanwhile, the number of visitors to the Mysuru palace which has a ticketed entry, remains low. In all, 1,920 people – mainly locals – visited the palace on October 25 while 1,360 tickets were sold the previous day. The highest daily turnout in October so far was on October 2 when the palace attracted 3,258 people. This is against the normal footfall in excess of 15,000 that used to be registered during the same period in the past years.

The Mysuru zoo used to be open the visitors even on Tuesdays – which otherwise is closed – during the peak holiday season commencing from October. This was to ensure that the visiting tourists did not return disappointed. But not so this year and the authorities closed the zoo for Tuesdays in view of the poor footfalls.

Mysuru palace normally receives around 3.5 million tourists every year but not so this year. The palace was closed during lockdown and it received 1250 tourists in June and 725 tourists in July and 10539 in August. There was a slight surge in September when 30,425 people visited the palace. However, it is not enough to neutralize the setback afflicting the tourism sector which generates nearly 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh jobs in Mysuru alone.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2020 12:00:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/tourism-hospitality-sector-continues-to-bleed/article32958807.ece

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