Coffee land sees dip in number of foreign tourists

Forein tourists at Bababudangiri.

The laid-back charm of Chikkamagaluru, popularly known as Coffee Land of Karnataka, seems to have lost its appeal amongst the foreign tourists.

The number of foreign tourists visiting Chikkamagaluru has dwindled this year. It has, however, increased the worries of the service sector dependent on tourism.

Many foreign tourists visit Sringeri, Kalasa, Horanadu, Balehonnur, Sri Guru Dattatreya Bababudan Swamy Dargah, Belavadi, Muthodi Wildlife Sanctuary, Kallattigiri, Kemmannugundi among other places in the district.

Since 2014, the number of tourists visiting the district has been decreasing drastically. The reasons for the dip in flow of foreign tourists was attributed to heavy rains and most importantly lack of basic amenities at  the tourist spots.

Alaska, a tourist from Russia, said she was visiting Chikkamagaluru for the first time. “The nature and climate is good. But there are no toilets, rest rooms and medical facilities at the tourist spots,” she lamented.

An official from the tourism department said the visits of foreign tourists to Malnad areas had trickled following natural
calamities.

A staff in a hotel, frequented by foreign tourists, said the month of December usually witnesses a heavy rush of foreign tourists.

“Every year, around 250 rooms are booked in advance by foreign tourists. But this year there has been a handful of foreigners and very few advance bookings.”

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