Bengaluru: A pall of gloom has descended on the residents of Kodagu as the hilly terrain is set to witness a fall in the inflow of visitors this year as floods have led to cancellations.
The district also vastly depends on tourism from tour operators, hotels, resorts and homestays as the sector generates employment and additional income besides being engaged in plantations. Tour agencies and operators functioning in Bengaluru are also affected due to landslides and floods in Kodagu district.
"100% of bookings have been cancelled from Bengaluru towards destinations like Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru, Wayanad and other affected areas due to floods. We have thus made an appeal to the finance ministry to waive off toll prices as the roads are not functional. In addition to this, we are also planning to make a request to the Centre to relieve tour operators from paying tax this month," said Radhakrishna Holla, General Secretary, Bangalore Tourist Taxi Owners Association.
"We have experienced 80% cancellation of bookings over the past 3-4 days and thus have incurred a huge loss. Last year, for almost 2-3 months post-floods, we didn't have any bookings. We are hoping for rains to stop pouring by August 18, thereby expecting tourism to scale up at least by the holiday months of October to December. If not, we would have to wait until the following summer break for bookings to resume on a large scale." said GR Kiran Kumar, Manager of Mayura Valley View KSTDC property in Madikeri.
KSTDC's property in Bhagamandala has been shut for almost a week due to the flooding of roads. Road connectivity to Bhagamandala and Talacauvery was shut as the floods on roads was as high as six foot. Network coverage and power supply was also hit, further making it difficult for customers to connect, said Prakash, Manager, Hotel Mayura Kauvery, KSTDC property in Bhagamandala.
A staffer from Coorg Heights Resort said around 30 bookings have been cancelled during the past week amounting to a loss of almost Rs 1 lakh. Similarly, a staffer from Hotel Le Coorg said they have been encountering cancellations and the losses incurred could be close to Rs 40,000 over the past few days.
Kumar Pushkar, Managing Director of KSTDC said, "No reports regarding the damage to property of hotels or homestays have been recorded till date. However, during the period of holidays, a larger impact to the tourism business has occurred largely because roads to Kodagu were blocked from various sides."
He further said KSTDC would support the tourism stakeholders in case of damages and losses. "As a tourism fraternity, we would work as a bridge between the government and those affected positively, to help them avail themselves of relief measures put forward by the government.
"Kodagu being one of the most popular destinations of Karnataka until last year, is now reaping a downfall of around 50-60% of tourism business. Natural disaster has spelt fear among travelers such that Kodagu has now lost the top position of places to visit. Efforts to regain its glory is the need," recounts Manjunath Berera, Vice President, Coorg Hotel and Resort Owners Association while speaking to DC Correspondent during a tourism expo held last week....