Kerala

Vembanad villages teem with tourists to ring in New Year

Heavy rush at lakside sites in Kottayam district

With guests, mostly foreigners, making a beeline to Kumarakom for ringing in the New Year, a party mood has taken over the lakeside villages of Kottayam.

According to the tourism officials, at the boat jetties at Kumarakom, Kavanattinkara and Cheeppungal houseboats and small-sized shikara boats are operating to capacity.

Unprecedented rush

“The rush has been unprecedented and the entire region is buzzing with tourism-related activities. This has come as a major boost to the backwater tourism sector, which seeks to shrug off the challenges in the previous seasons,” said Biju Varghese, Deputy Director, Tourism Department. The Responsible Tourism Mission suggested that its Village Life Experience packages in Kumarakom witnessed a daily average of 60-100 visitors in December. “The demand has been so high that we have bookings up to January 15. The locations in Vaikom and adjacent villages too have witnessed high footfall. This is a big improvement on the same season last year,” said K. Roopesh Kumar, Coordinator, RT Mission.

Pre-booked rooms

According to Arun Kumar K., secretary, Chamber of Vembanad Hotels and Resorts, about 20 high properties located in the destination and more than 90% of the rooms have been pre-booked for New Year’s eve.

“Foreigners constitute over 50% of the guests while domestic visitors from north India dominate the remaining section. All properties have planned special events for the revellers and the entire destination has spruced up for the occasion,” he said.

Kumarakom had suffered heavily during the deluge last year, followed by the Nipah scare that hit the State in June this year. Typically, the rainy season represented a high season for the destination but things took a turn for the worse with June receiving scanty showers, followed by a spell of very heavy rainfall coupled with landslips in the high-ranges.

Among the most affected by this climate-induced developments were those who operated tourist boats and have bank loans to repay.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 4:05:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/vembanad-villages-teem-with-tourists-to-ring-in-new-year/article30427568.ece

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