Tourism hits a low in Malnad region, business affected

Only a few tourists are seen on the premises of Sringeri Sharadamba temple in Chikkamagaluru district.

Following unfavourable weather, the Malnad areas in Chikkamagaluru have been witnessing a dip in footfall.

The places of attraction to tourists including Mullayyanagiri, Bababudengiri, Kallattigiri, Kemmannugundi, Sringeri, Horanadu, Kalasa and Sirimane falls have witnessed thin attendance of tourists when compared to increased footfall in previous years. Low turnout of visitors has hit the hospitality, homestay, hotel and taxi businesses, lamented a vendor on M G road.

Sources in the tourism department, acknowledged that tourism had lost its sheen in August this year. In August 2017, one lakh people had visited Horanadu. The number of tourists had dipped to 75,000 in August 2018 and 50,000 in August 2019.

As many as 28,000 people visited Sri Guru Dattatreya Bababuden Swamy Dargah in 2017. The number of tourists dipped to 18,000 in 2018 and only 10,000 had visited the Dargah this year.

The number of foreign tourists too making a beeline to the Malnad had come down. Nearly, 113 foreigners visited the district on August 2017 and only 43 foreigners visited this August.

Tourism department Assistant Director Raju blamed poor footfall on disrupted connectivity. He said connectivity was lost due to landslides triggered by incessant rains on important roads in Horanadu, Kalasa and Sringeri of Malnad region.

There were landslides in the hill ranges too. With road connectivity being restored in a phased manner, it is expected that tourism will pick up in coming months. Sarang Home Stay owner Girish Holadagadde said that the bookings had drastically dipped in August.

Taxi driver Muhammed Anwar ruled that there was no demand for taxis.  With a fall in the number of tourists, we are struggling to make ends meet. “I only got 10 days of booking in August,”
he added.

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