MADURAI: Tourists flocked to Kodaikanal during the Deepavali festival weekend and enjoyed their time leisurely absorbing the grandeur of the hill station.
The four-day holiday since Friday ahead of the festival saw a good turnout from various places, District Tourism Officer SM Sri Balamurugan (in-charge) of Dindigul said on Tuesday.
After two years of Covid break, many of the roads leading to tourism sites and hill stations were crowded with tourists, who came mostly from Kerala. There’s also a steady flow of tourists from parts of north India. Apart from a variety of sightseeing spots, the tourists enjoyed boating as a recreational activity.
Moreover, Balamurugan said a team of security organisation comprising six security wardens was formed in Kodaikanal to assist tourists with safety concerns to have a safe and happy holiday season.
A Robin, a tourist guide, said usually at weekends there’s a healthy influx of tourists in Kodaikanal, but this time since Friday many of them started trickling in. About 50 to 60 per cent of lodging rooms were occupied. Since the holiday season ends on Tuesday, the tourists began driving down to their destinations from the hill station to resume their normal routine.
Tourism stakeholders were anticipating the second season in Kodaikanal in December to be even better. More importantly, weather conditions prevailing on this hill station are quite amazing as it’s cool and misty. It rained heavily two days ahead of Deepavali when the weather attracted tourists. Many bike riders from Madurai, Dindigul and neighboring Theni district toured Kodaikanal on the festival day and returned, Robin added.
According to S Abdul Gani Raja, president, Kodaikanal Hotel and Resorts Owners Association, about 50 per cent of occupancy was recorded in ‘A’ category star hotels, but it’s less than 25 per cent in the rest of the category hotels. Since many unauthorized ‘Homestay’ cottages are functioning illegally, the livelihoods of genuine taxpayers relying on tourists to stay in hotels and resorts have been affected. Citing these, he called for action to check illegal Homestay cottages.