50% bookings for Dussehra and Deepavali holiday seasons were cancelled. Though Munnar, a major tourism destination, has recovered after the deluge, tourists continue to stay away. Even the Puja and Deepavali holidays were no exception.
Hoteliers say over 50% of bookings were cancelled in the two holiday seasons. They say those outside the State are yet to realise that Munnar has returned to normalcy, and hence tourists are reluctant to visit the place.
During Dussehra and Deepavali, mostly north Indians visit Munnar. This time, they stayed away, said Babu Sebastian, an employee at a resort at Munnar. They fear the Christmas-New Year season will be no different.
There was large-scale bookings of hotel rooms this year considering the Neelakurinji season. Wide publicity was given through roadshows and bookings started a year ago. There were group bookings by travel agencies from Mumbai and New Delhi. “They were either cancelled or the number of bookings got reduced,” he said. The number of foreign tourists too has dropped.
The situation is similar in Thekkady too, where tourist boats are plying with mostly vacant seats. There was a drop in online bookings and the Deepavali season season was no exception, said an official with the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Many hotels and shops catering to tourists in Kumily, the town near Thekkady, continued to remain closed.