Tourists trickle in, much to the delight of stakeholders

‘It will take another year for total revival of tourism industry’

With the relaxation of norms, the number of domestic tourists visiting popular tourist spots in the city is on the rise. However, it will take more time for complete revival of the tourism industry, as it needs intervention from the government, say stakeholders.

With the reopening of Tirumalai Nayak Palace and relaxation of norms at Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, there has been a marginal increase in arrival of domestic tourists, says S. Kaniraja, a tourist guide with 25 years of experience. “A small percentage of tourists from neighbouring States have started visiting Meenakshi temple. Though these numbers are minuscule when compared to pre-COVID-19 days, still it is a positive sign,” he says.

There has also been an increase in bookings at hotels for corporate meetings, weddings and special events. “On wedding days, the hotels have good occupancy rate. But the room tariff is lower than the pre-COVID-19 days,” says G. Vasudevan, vice-president of Tamil Nadu Travel Mart Society.

No foreigners

Movement of foreign tourists is almost nil and that of tourists from other States is bare minimum, says Chitra Ganapathy, a member of Travel Club. “Since there are restrictions in performing pujas at temples, especially at Rameswaram, arrival of tourists and devotees from other States has not picked up,” she says.

G. Raveendran, the president of Travel Club, says flight tickets are also high. So not many people book tour packages.

The limited number of tourists ensure the survival of various stakeholders of tourism industry, says Mr. Vasudevan. “It will take at least another year for total revival of the industry,” he says.

Government must intervene to help the stakeholders to pass this rough patch, says Ms. Chithra Ganapathy. “The measures that the government has announced for the tourism sector have not been fully beneficial to the stakeholders,” she adds.

Mr. Raveendran says the government must announce sops in the form of tax redemption to the tourism industry.

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