The devastating floods in Jammu and Kashmir are driving tourists from the northern states down south, especially for the grand Dasara fete in Mysore. At least this is what one can glean from the online room bookings at hotels in the city.
It is evident that more tourists from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and other states have booked rooms for October 3 and 4, Ayudha Puja and jamboo savari respectively.
Vinod, a tourist operator, told Deccan Herald that ‘unlike previous years when only tourists from neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala had Mysore on their itinerary, this time more tourists from faraway states too have the city on their trip schedule’.
The last time tourists from northern states visited city during Dasara in big numbers was in 2010, while the following years were dull for the tourism industry. When compared to previous years, when the occupancy rate touched 50 per cent, this year it is expected to reach 80 per cent and beyond, Vinod said.
Prashanth, another tourist operator, said that though the floods in Kashmir could be a reason for increased tourist influx to Mysore, the series of government holidays may also have caused it. In case of government employees among the domestic tourists, there is the advantage of six days holidays between October 1 and 11.
They have holidays for four days on a stretch from October 2 to 5, while it’s a holiday again on October 8 for Valmiki Jayanti and on October 11, second Saturday. Obtaining another five days of leave may not be difficult for them.
M Rajendra, president of the Mysore Hoteliers’ Association, said that while the response for the last two days (October 3 and 4) is encouraging, the remaining eight days portend a dull picture. It is the time when the city turns into a fantasy world with a melange of attractions, cultural programmes and entertainment unlimited for the youth.
While the star hotels are expected to go by the card rate, the economy hotels are expected to make a killing, charging a bit more than normal days. The star hotels charge between Rs 4,000 to Rs 12,000 for 12 hours, while it is between Rs 700 and Rs 2,000, depending on the rooms and number of beds, in other hotels.
It is also anticipated to be a windfall for cabbies as travel houses offer local sightseeing trips, covering tourist spots in and around the city.