Mysuru: If there is one tourist destination with a myriad of tourist attractions apart from the clean city tag that tourists flock to, it is Mysuru. However, the lean season of February and March sees a dip in footfalls.
This season, there are three or four reasons that have added to this yearly phenomena of tourist drop. It is not only because of exams, which is there every year but Mysuru is experiencing one of the hottest summers that everyone is talking about it. The other reason is of course the general elections that has reduced the flow of tourists to the city.
The tourist season in city starts from mid-March every year. Tourists from Andhra, Telengana, Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and other parts of the country visit the city. But this year the heat wave is causing problems where the temperature that is normally hovers between 32 degrees Celsius to 34 degrees Celsius has shot up to 38 to 39 degrees Celsius probably keeping away the tourists.
The other reason is the long phase of elections (seven phases) going on all the over the country, where people prefer to stay in their hometowns to participate in the democratic process.
The efforts of hoteliers to increase the voter turnout has impacted the tourist footfalls and they are likely to trickle in after Apr.23, the completion of the second phase of election in Karnataka and after May 19, the last phase of election, said Mysuru Hotel Owners Association President C. Narayanagowda, speaking to Star of Mysore.
There are nearly 750 hotels in the city with about 8,000 rooms consisting of AC, non-AC, deluxe, semi-deluxe and ordinary rooms. Due to the off season and also the election month, the tourists have stayed away, he said.
However, Mysore Palace Board Deputy Director T.S.Subramanya speaking said that there is no marked decrease in the footfalls to the Palace. For instance on Apr.14, there were 14,339 visitors to the Palace out of which 12,175 were adults, 140 foreigners, 336 students and 1,688 children.
Interestingly, just a day after the voting in Mysuru, the footfalls increased with 15,821 visiting the Palace, which is an increase of about 6,000 when compared to the voting day, which was 9,230, he added.
If the figure for the year ending March 2019 is taken then a total of 37,40,839 tourists have visited the Palace out of whom 29,32,580 are adults, 48,022 are foreigners, 5,12,102 are students and 2,48,135 are children. In three years between 2016-17 and 2018-19, 1.9 crore tourists have visited the palace, he said.
Even the other major tourist attraction, the Mysuru Zoo (Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens) the number of visitors has dropped.
Zoo Executive Director Ajit Kulkarni said that about 9,000 people visited the Zoo on polling day when compared to the rush during normal days, especially since this is the holiday season.
But just as the tourists to the Palace increase, the footfalls to the Zoo will also increase in the coming days, he added.