New year, it's time to make extra bucks

Hotels charge double; Christmas vacation brings tourists in hordes

With three days left to usher in 2012, Mysore is bustling with an increase in the number of tourists. So also hotels are making a killing, cashing in on the season.

A double cot room that opens door easily at Rs 800 during normal days now costs double for the same 12 hours. Similarly, a deluxe room priced at Rs 1,000 costs more than double at Rs 2,500 in normal hotels. A suite earlier available at an economical Rs 3,000 now costs Rs 5,000.

A travel agent preferring anonymity told Deccan Herald, “For hotels in Mysore, Christmas and New Year brings customers in hordes every year. Enquiries begin to pour in a week ahead of the festival and tourists start descending on the city from December 23. The hustle-bustle of tourists remain the same for close to 10 days.

First and foremost, the reason is places of tourist attraction in abundance situated in and around the city. Amba Vilas Palace, Zoo and KRS in the neighbouring Srirangapatna taluk tops the itinerary. Another reason is the changing Mysore, with most hotels hosting midnight parties with attractive packages to herald the New Year.

Apart from domestic tourists, especially from north Indian states, foreigners too zero in on the cultural capital to raise a toast.

This year, though the mood is almost the same as previous years, since December 24 there is a heavy rush of tourists. Some hotels play smart, if they aren’t able to offer bookings for long stays.

For example if a tourist wants to stay for a week, all they do is offer rooms on split dates — first two days and last two days. For split days, they offer trips to Gopalswamy Hill, Bandipur and Ooty, where they stay overnight. The following day, they would be taken on local sight seeing. On the same split dates, the other party would be accommodated. The moment a party vacates the room, another on Ooty tour returns to be accommodated in the same room.

President of Mysore Hotel Owners’ Association M Rajendra denied that all hotels with lodging and restaurant facilities charge double during the seasons. Barring low end hotels for which seasons give an opportunity to make some extra bucks, high end hotels go by card rates only. However, the only difference is except for regular customers, there will be no discount in rent for others.

In all, the city has 250 hotels with 2,500 rooms, suffice to handle the rush, he added.
Although Dasara too brings tourists in big numbers for a day or two, making it a perfect season for hoteliers, the week starting from Christmas is the most awaited. What has added to the mood is the New Year eve falling on weekend.

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