Will the floods in Madikeri, Kerala cast a shadow on tourism during Dasara?

Following the devastating floods in and Coorg and , the industry in Mysuru has been severely hit. The Mysore Palace, which is a must-see for every visitor to the city, has had very few footfalls in the past few days. Till August 20, the number of visitors to the Palace has been pegged at 1,62,273, as against 2,07,421 in the same month a year ago. BS Prashanth, chairman, Karnataka Tourism Form, Mysuru Chapter, says, “There has been a 30% decline in tourist bookings, which doesn’t augur well ahead of Dasara. Most of the bookings that we get are from North India, and people plan their itinerary in such a way that they either head towards or Kerala after a stopover in Mysuru. But both places are now off the, radar as roads and tourist hotspots there are severely damaged due to the floods. An even more worrying factor is that there are whispers of toning down celebrations owing to the floods. It is unfortunate, but every year Dasara celebrations suffer due of various issues, be it the drought, Cauvery water-sharing or the floods now.”
Travel agent Sachin Kumar, says, “Mysuru is a transit point for visitors to Madikeri and Kerala, but now, with only Mysuru as an option, visitors might plan their trip to other South Indian destinations.”
Most tourism stakeholders that we spoke to expressed their apprehensions regarding the effect of the floods on Dasara celebrations, which will begin in October. The Gajapayana, which marks the beginning of the Dasara season, was to be held on August 23, but has now been pushed to September.
Narayanagowda, president, Mysuru Hotel Owners Association, adds, “August is the beginning of tourism season, but there is only 10% occupancy rate. The government should step up relief and rehabilitiation works so that tourists can once again begin visiting Madikeri from Mysuru.”
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