Mysuru: One’s loss is somebody’s gain. The month of May (after the Assembly election results) has proved a boon to Mysuru as thousands of tourists are arriving here on a daily basis to spend their summer vacation.
Tourists, who earlier booked their trips to Kerala, have cancelled their visit due to Nipah Virus (NiV) threat that has so far claimed the lives of more than 15 people, especially in North Kerala.
People started coming to Mysuru soon after the election results were announced. Usually, the summer tourism in Mysuru starts by the first week of April and ends in May just before the schools reopen in the first week of June. This year, however, April did not see many visitors due to Assembly elections. Most of the officials and teachers were busy in the month-long election process and as such they could not go on tours.
Soon after the elections were over on May 12 and the counting on May 15, Mysuru has seen a dramatic increase in the number of tourists. According to many tourists who have arrived in Mysuru, they had booked their travel plans to Kerala months in advance but had to cancel them due to the Nipah Virus scare.
Visitors said that they had earlier made plans to stay in Mysuru for two or three days and then move to Kerala for another three days. “But due to Nipah scare, we are staying in Mysuru for all the six days and we might go to Kodagu,” Bhavani, a government officer from Dharwad told Star of Mysore.
Hotels in city have reported 95 to 100 percent occupancy and tourist places including Chamundi Hill, Mysore Palace, Krishna Raja Sagar, Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Talakadu, Kodagu and surrounding areas have reported highest number of tourists.
There are over 7,500 rooms in city and over 800 hotels, restaurants and cafes and all have reported maximum occupancy and heavy sales in food and beverages, said C. Narayanagowda, President of Mysuru Hotel Owners Association.
Last year, in April 3,23,433 visitors thronged the Mysore Palace and in May 2017, 5,41,952 tourists had visited the Palace. This year, in April, 3,07,636 visitors have visited the iconic structure. The numbers in May will cross 4 lakh visitors, said Palace officials.
Over 1,36,000 people visited the Zoo in March 2017 and this year, 1,64,000 tourists visited. In April 2017, there were 3,21,000 visitors and in April this year, 3,35,000 people visited the Zoo. During May last year, 4,95,000 tourists visited the Zoo and this year May till yesterday, 4,10,000 people had visited.
Mysuru Travels Association President B.S. Prashanth said that there is a heavy demand for tourist vehicles including open jeeps at all the 120 travel agencies in Mysuru. People are staying in Mysuru and are hiring vehicles to reach destinations like Talakadu, KRS, Kodagu and Bandipur, he said.