Kerala

Neelakurinji tourism plans go haywire

Investments in Munnar in jeopardy

Munnar was in the final stage of preparations to welcome the Neelakurinji season, scheduled to start by August-end. Then, deluge struck.

All the preparations have gone awry and investors in tourism ventures are forced to make a fresh start. The priority for the authorities is to rebuild the roads damaged in floods and landslips. The work is estimated to take at least a month. The main road to Rajamala, the prime centre to view Neelakurinji, is in tatters and traffic on the Munnar-Marayur road has been banned owing to large-scale landslips.

Flowering delayed

A large number of hotel bookings for the Neelakurinji season have been cancelled, especially in Munnar. Many hotels were closed after tourism activities were suspended by the District Collector following landslips and floods.

The Neelakurinji flowering too has been delayed due to heavy rains.

The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) has suffered a loss of ₹1.5 crore in floods. The DTPC park at Old Munnar is submerged.

DTPC secretary Jayan P. Vijayan said that all stakeholders suffered heavily and there were no tourism-related activities. The focus was to make arrangements for tourists at Panchalimedu, Wagamon, and Ramakkalmedu as the roads to these destinations are better than those to Munnar and Thekkady. From Monday, stakeholders will jointly start cleaning operations in Munnar for three days.

According to an employee at a hotel in Kumily which was opened on Saturday after remaining closed for two weeks, the impact of the flood on the tourism sector would be drastic. Not just hotels and resorts, but taxi operators, tourism agencies, and small-scale businessmen too have been affected. Thekkady, which would be usually bustling during the Onam season, now sports a desolate look.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 8:10:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/neelakurinji-tourism-plans-go-haywire/article24786739.ece

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