'Kodagu' tourists flood the hills

Devastated by  floods and landslides in August, Kodagu has returned to normalcy with its hotels, resorts, lodges and homestays filling up once again this holiday season thanks to the efforts of the district administration and tourism department. 

The 200 hotels lodges and resorts and 4000 homestays of Kodagu have reported 85 to 90 per cent occupancy since December 22 and there is expected to be no let-up till January 1, according to stakeholders in the tourism industry. 

But the revival of the tourism industry has not been without effort as the hotels,  lodges and resorts which usually charged double their actual room rent end of the year in the past, have this year offered huge discounts of 25 to 50 per cent, reveals  honorary advisor of the Kodagu District Resorts, Hotels and Restaurants’ Association, Chidvilas. 

Recalling that the district administration had banned tourists from Kodagu from August 16 to September 9  until the roads were restored after the floods and landslides, he says hardly any tourists visited the district in the next few months. But later, tourism minister, Sa Ra Mahesh took special interest and along with the Kodagu district administration began the "Kodagu is Back" campaign in 30 languages on social media to woo them back. " We also came up with four short films to promote Kodagu as a destination for families, couples, and adventure and  nature and yoga enthusiasts on social media,” he explains.

 Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and the scion of the Mysuru royal famil, Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, who is the tourism ambassador for the Mysuru- Kodagu also gave voice-overs for the short films and  the tourism department promoted the district at the Delhi airport and held a “Destination Kodagu” road show in Chennai.

“After  all this effort we are seeing good inflow of tourists now. But  after January 1 the bookings are still not good enough,” he regrets, adding that an  open street festival will be held early next year to draw more tourists to the district.

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