Express news service
COONOOR: After an extended period of downpours, winter has started in the Nilgiris and tourists are expected to visit the hill station for Christmas and New Year holidays.
Government Tourism Officer for Nilgiris D Uma Shankar said, âThere is an increase in tourist flow every day to take advantage of the winter. Almost 70 percent of tourists come from Tamil Nadu and the rest from Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana â.
Visitors from neighboring states are only allowed entry to Nilgiris if they have a negative Covid certificate or proof of double-dose vaccination. There is no more influx of foreign tourists now, âhe said, adding that the tourist flow is expected to increase on Christmas and New Year weekends and last until the Pongal holiday.
The hospitality industry is eagerly awaiting Christmas-New Years to make up for the huge loss due to containment. Nilgiri Hotels and Restaurants Association Secretary Chandra Shekar said: âHotels have received good requests for room reservations as of this Friday. We are expecting a busy time until the New Year â.
“Normally this is also the time for foreign visitors, but this winter we will miss them because of the Omicron threat and the new restrictions to be followed upon their arrival at Indian airports in addition to the mandatory 7 day quarantine.” , did he declare.
General Manager of the Savoy Hotel in Ooty and Gateway Hotel in Coonoor Ritesh Choudhary cluster said, âThe response for Christmas and New Years bookings is overwhelming as people are interested in moving after being confined for a long time. We have made the usual arrangements for the celebrations, but with double caution due to the spread of Omicron. This makes us cautiously optimistic this winter â.
âDue to restrictions imposed by Omicron in many countries, Indians cannot travel abroad. This is in addition to more domestic tourists to the Nilgiris now, âhe explained.
Quality of Restaurants group general manager G Ujjual said visitors to Kerala are already visible in large numbers, especially on weekends.
Tamil Nadu State Local Government Trader Welfare Association Secretary MA Raheem said: âThe livelihoods of traders, especially small vendors, have been wiped out these two. recent years due to the cessation of tourist activities and the lockdown. This winter looks promising to revive some of our lost income and we look forward to increased attendance over Christmas and New Year weekends â.
Horticulture Co-Director Sivasubramania Samraj told TNIE: âThe minimum temperature has fallen to four degrees Celsius for the past two nights at the government botanical garden in Ooty. As a result, ground frost had occurred, but we are taking precautionary measures to protect vital parts of the Garden from frost damage. We water the vast lawns of the garden with sprinklers from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. and also until 6 p.m. This keeps the grass warmer and greener â.
Winter visitors to the Garden are more and more numerous. Samraj said, âEvery day we get around 3,000 visitors, but not over the weekends. Last Sunday there were some 9,000 visitors. We expect no less than 10,000 visitors every day for the next weekend, that is, two days of holiday for Christmas and the following weekend for the New Year â.