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26 Oct 2021, Edition - 2296, Tuesday

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Coimbatore

Yet another season of discontent

D.Radhakrishnan

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Udhagamandalam: With the 2021 annual summer tourist season in this popular vacation destination going the way of the 2020 edition, thanks to the pandemic, those in the hospitality and travel sectors, have been pushed to an unenviable position.

For long both the sectors have been heavily dependent on the summer season, for their economic wellbeing, since the months of March,April,May and June usually sustain them for the rest of the year. With this being the case, they received a jolt last summer, when a lockdown had to be imposed to check the spread of the Corona virus. A major fallout of the lockdown then was the cancellation of all the season related events like the Annual Floral Carnival,the Rose Show,the Dog Show,the Fruit Show,the Spice Show,the Vegetable Show and the dance,drama and music programmes associated with the Summer Festival.

Improvement in the situation resulted in a moderate to heavy inflow of tourists towards the end of the year, raising hopes of a successful season in 2021.

However,the turn of events, have again dealt a severe blow to the tourism industry in the hills.

With the lockdown in force and the situation on the Covid 19 front,continuing to be grim,it is unlikely that the summer events, will be held this year also,said the Joint Director of Horticulture Mr.Shiva Subramaniam Samraj,while speaking to The Covai Post here today.

Throwing up his hands in despair,the Secretary of the Nilgiri Hotels and Restaurants Association (NHRA) Mr.N.Chandrashekar told The Covai Post that the going has become very tough for the hospitality sector. Expressing the hope that the government will extend a helping hand, he said that at least with regard to payments like the Property tax and Electricity bills,some consideration should be shown. He opined that the authorities should use the lockdown to ensure that, when the situation turns conducive for lifting various restrictions, this hill station wears a visitor friendly appearance. In particular public places should be rid of encroachments. A serious view should be taken of road side eateries. Since tourism related activities have become monotonous, a rethink on such events has become necessary. A long term plan to sustain the interest of the peregrinators, should be put in place.

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