Dasara: Cauvery agitation takes toll on Mysuru tourism

Dasara: Cauvery agitation takes toll on Mysuru tourism

2,700 online bookings for hotel rooms cancelled

Though the Mysuru Dasara has begun, the tourist flow to the heritage city has failed to pick up due to a series of agitations in the Cauvery basin districts over the Cauvery water sharing issue.

The tourist footfall, according to hoteliers and travel agents, has dropped by 60% this time compared to the previous year. Mysuru Shopping Festival and Mysore Travel Mart chairman B S Prashanth said that if the unrest continues, not just the tourists and even Mysureans will go to the neighbouring Kerala to enjoy the Dasara holidays. “The tourist flow would slightly pick up only if the people in the Cauvery basin area maintain peace,” he said.

According to sources, the Mysuru Shopping Festival, a 43-day shoping event organised as part of Dasara, is getting good response with nearly 20,000 people shopping daily. However, only 60% of them are locals.

Even the hotel industry is facing the heat of the Cauvery agitation. According to hoteliers, a majority of the people has stayed away from Mysuru and has also cancelled hotel bookings. According to a hotelier, business has dipped by 80% following the Cauvery agitation. The city has around 5,000 hotel rooms and a majority of them are empty. As many as 2,700 rooms bookings, which were made online have been cancelled in the last few days. In normal years, by this time, visitors used to book rooms to attend Dasara. But, this year, many of the booked rooms have been cancelled, he pointed out.

Despite the district administration and the state government launching a series of programmes, tourists are averse to visit the city due to the protests. The district administration has launched Akasha Ambari, a jolly helicopter ride that provides temporary air connectivity between Bengaluru and Mysuru, and Golden Chariot train service from Bengaluru.

According to sources in the police, vehicular movement used to be high before the inauguration of Dasara every year. But, this time, a few vehicles from others places have come to the city. The traffic flow would be high after a week as people come for Jamboo Savari, they said.

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