Earlier, tourism hotspots remained shut in Kodaikanal in Dindigul district since March this year as part of measures taken by government authorities to contain the spread of coronavirus. However, recreation spots have been gradually reopened in this most preferred tourist destination at this hill station after the state eased COVID-19 restrictions partially.
The badly-hit tourism economy in Kodaikanal saw a ray of revival as lot of tourists preferred the hill station during the recent weekend, which marked Deepavali festival season. With the hill station coming alive with a good turnout of tourists on subsequent weekends brought the smiles back on tourist guides.
Twelve Mile Road is a popular hang out in Kodaikanal and now, with the hotspots such as ‘Guna Caves,’ Moir Point, Pillar Rocks and Pine Forest area returning back to normal, Kodaikanal is all set for the second tourism season, which begins in December, Robin, a tourist guide in Kodaikanal told DT Next on Sunday. Tourists could relax and enjoy as these locations open gateways to eight sight-seeing spots.
The second season, which usually begins in December, rolls into January next and continues over a fortnight in the month. However, eco-tourism spots, including Berijam Lake and Mannavanur Lake situated on upper hills of Kodaikanal are yet to be reopened, he said.
“The only source of income for us is through tourism. We (guides) could earn about Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 a day after taking them through local sight-seeing spots and our income would go up to Rs 2,500 once eco-tourism spots, including Berijam Lake are reopened. E-registration for tourists to access Kodaikanal is still discouraging many and such formalities need to be completely dropped, Robin said.
Kodaikanal experiences pleasant weather with slight drizzles in the recent past and much to the delight, foggy weather is prevailing, A Ramesh, president, Kodaikanal Taxi Drivers Association, said. While most of the tourists got down from this hill station, some of them stayed put themselves in hotels as they could not hang around on rainy days. In the early days of November, bicycling resumed around the lake area and horse riding was also back in action.
Tourism in Kodaikanal would be complete when Boat House operations and the eco-tourism spots resume operations, he said.
Anandan, Assistant Tourism Officer, Kodaikanal, expressed hope that boating will likely resume in a week well ahead of holidays in December.