Mysuru: The famous Dasara festivities may not be termed as a “grand affair’’ in view of the natural calamity that hit parts of Kodagu but the authorities will leave no stone unturned to focus on tourism promotion in the run-up to the fest.
The Tourism Department got busy giving shape to its final plan to use the festival as a fulcrum to promote tourism in the region. In a bid to make the best of the 10-day event to commence from Oct.10 and lure both domestic and intl. tourists, a promotional plan is being drafted and is set to be finalised within a week.
H.P. Janardhan, Deputy Director, Department of Tourism, said, “Apart from traditional events, there will be renewed focus on youth and hence, adventure sports will be given due importance.”
Mysuru is ideal for water sports and a few facilities are already in place at Varuna Lake which would be harnessed to the fullest. In addition, vintage car rally and ornamental fish show are being contemplated as added attractions during Dasara. This is expected to supplement the air show expected to make a comeback this year but things would be clear only in the days ahead. As most of the events are scheduled to be held and there is no official decision to scale down the festivities, the authorities are now going all out to harness the tourism potential.
However, stakeholders in the hospitality sector are keeping their fingers crossed as the recent floods in Kerala may cast its shadow on their fortunes during the peak tourism season.
As C. Narayanagowda, President of Hotel Owners Association, said, a sizeable number of tourists to Mysuru are from Kerala and their numbers may decline in view of the calamity.
But there are others who perceive that the domestic tourists otherwise bound for Kerala may shift their preference this year and hence expect a significant number of them to visit Mysuru. They argue that this can to some extent offset the loss owing to perceived decline of tourists from Kerala.
There are about 150 to 170 hotels catering to all categories of tourists who visit Mysuru throughout the year. Though the gross occupancy rate in the hotels tends to be around 50 percent for almost 9 months, it exceeds 85 percent during the peak tourism season commencing in the run-up to Dasara.
It is reckoned that tourism alone generates around 50,000 direct and indirect jobs in Mysuru, making the sector a key driver of the local economy.