With Lok Sabha polls in the horizon, the city is witnessing a steady fall in the visitors day by day, which could likely hit the tourism sector.
The statistics of visitors to Mysore’s must visit places -- Amba Vilas Palace and Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Garden, reveals all. The two tourist spots have seen a dip in visitors, both domestic and foreign in the month of March. Officials claimed that whenever elections are declared, it invariably hits the tourism sector in Mysore.
T S Subramanya, Deputy Director, Mysore Palace Board speaking to Deccan Herald said that in the month of March, the Palace had recorded a footfall of 1,78,876 lakh, including 7,591 foreigners. Last year, for the corresponding period, the Palace had received 1,91,718 visitors -- over 10,000 more visitors than this year.
“It is common that whenever elections are declared, the footfall reduces. This was experienced even during the Assembly elections last May,” he said. The Palace has an average footfall of around 2.5 lakh every month.
He added that February, March and April months were also considered as ‘off season’ months. However, the numbers were much below than expected. The lean phase was likely to continue till the elections are over, he said. In the year 2013, the Palace had received 1,91,718 visitors in March; and 2,58,359 visitors in April. The numbers however had drastically increased to 3,90,333 in the month of May.
The situation is similar in the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens. It has recorded an all time low footfall in the current calendar year with just 1,44,740 people visiting the Zoo. The Zoo receives a minimum of at least two lakh visitors on an average every month.
A Zoo official said that the numbers however improved during the weekends. The official said that the Zoo received a sizeable number of government officials as tourists. Due to the elections, they would have to give the Zoo a skip this time around, he said.
The story is similar with regard to the hotel industry as well. M Rajendra, President, Mysore Hotel Owners Association said that hotels in the city had not received enquiries or reservations so far, giving an indication that fewer tourists would be visiting Mysore this summer.
He said that a majority of the hotel guests were from the neighbouring States like Kerala and Tamil Nadu. But, owing to the general elections, visitors from these States too were not expected to travel to Mysore in large numbers, he added.