Hyderabad: After remaining tight at home for most of the past year amid the Covid-19 scare and lockdowns, the people of Telangana have begun stirring out to places near and far, wearing their tourist hats.
According to the state tourism department, more and more people are visiting tourism and recreation spots in the past couple of months. Currently, visitor numbers for such locations saw about 30 per cent hike compared to the pre-Covid-19 times. Almost all of these were people from within the state.
"We are seeing some 60 to 70 per cent occupancy at our hotels and other boarding facilities now,” an official said.
While facilities such as Lumbini Park and boat rides on Hussainsagar are drawing crowds again, visitor numbers to other tourism spots in the state are also up. The Warangal sector Laknavarm, Ramappa temple and lake, Tadvai, Malur and Medaram have been witnessing increasing numbers of visitors. In the Mahbubnagar sector, one among the popular spots is Somasila and there are locations on the way to Srisailam in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, across Krishna river .
There is high demand for spots with water bodies and water sports. The Kuntala waterfalls at Adilabad, the Lower Manair Dam in Karimnagar and the Bogatha waterfalls at Yettur are among the most-visited. These places elicit large numbers of enquiries too about facilities.
Since the start of summer, usually a good season for Indian tour operators, the tourism department is focusing on a boost to the business. Last summer, it was a disaster for tourism, the official said.
In the city, Lumbini Park adjacent to Hussainsagar lake, which used to see around 10,000 visitors on weekends before Covid-19, is now recording up to 13,000 visitors on Sundays and other holidays. Revenue from boat rides on Hussainsagar has increased from Rs 5 lakh a day during weekends and holidays to Rs 6 lakh over the past two months.