With technology and resilience, Karnataka’s tourism sector tries to recover amid Covid-19


Travelers return to the iconic Mysore Palace and worshipers flock to the revered hilltop temple of Chamundeshwari in Karanataka, as the state government works to rebuild the hard-hit tourism sector the Covid-19 pandemic, leveraging digital technology and with a spirit of resilience.

At Tipu Sultan’s 18th-century Summer Palace in Srirangapatna, crowds are sparse, but many visitors can be seen scanning a QR code displayed on a kiosk at the entrance to pay for an instant ticket, while a few Posters are mounted on the wall saying “Maintain Social Distancing” and “Wear a Mask”.

Srirangapatna in the Mandya district is located about 18 km from the heritage city of Mysore.

The city is also home to the very ancient Ranganathaswamy Temple, the ruins of the centuries-old Srirangapatna Fort, and an enclosed space that marks the spot where Tipu’s body was found after his death in 1799.

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The centerpiece of all tourist attractions is the Summer Palace or ‘Daria Daulat Bagh’, which reopened to visitors last month after restrictions were relaxed following the reduction in Covid-19 cases in the city. ‘State.

At Mysuru’s famous Lalitha Mahal Palace, a heritage hotel of the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), the lavish banquet hall that could transport people to another era, guests have the option of ordering food by accessing a digital menu available with just a quick scan of a QR-code printed on a board kept on the tables. Karnataka, which celebrates its Independence Day on November 1, is home to two stunning UNESCO World Heritage sites – the Hampi Ruins of the Vijaynagara Empire and the Ancient Pattadakal Temple, in addition to a plethora of other cultural monuments and breathtaking natural beauty, including the world- famous Jog Falls.

But the coronavirus pandemic and the successive lockdowns in the country induced by the spread of the deadly virus had broken the back of India’s tourism sector and people’s confidence to feel safe while traveling even after restrictions were eased.

However, as India recently passed the 100 crore milestone of Covid vaccine doses administered, Karnataka is slowly rebuilding the tourism sector and people’s confidence in trying to provide a safe environment for recreation and recreation.

Lead the heads of the main hotels managed by the National Tourism Company in Bengaluru and Mysuru, PTI spoke, said his staff had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, for the protection of guests and hotel employees.

“Worshipers again crowd into the Chamundeshwari temple on top of the Chamundi hills in Mysuru, although in small numbers, but slowly the momentum is building up. All priests and temple staff are fully vaccinated, and Regular RT-PCR tests are performed on priests as they come into daily contact with large numbers of people, ”said a senior KSTDC official.

The vaccination has surely boosted the confidence of tourists and staff, “the element of fear has diminished to a great extent,” he said.

Amid this renewed spirit of resilience, the state government last week co-hosted with the Ministry of Tourism, a one-of-a-kind conference of tourism and culture ministers from the southern Bengaluru region, with Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy as his guest of honor.

Addressing the conference, which was held in a heritage hotel, he said that “there can be no greater confidence booster for the revival of tourism than the vaccination against the Covid-19”.

Manjunath, 100-year-old property manager at Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel, said that during Mysore Dasara the city had seen a huge influx of tourists and most of the hotels were nearing full capacity. But now it has cleared up again, he said.

“But we believe the sector is slowly rebuilding itself after being in tatters during the first and second waves of the pandemic,” he said. PTI.

Zubair Ahmad, 38, a government tour guide based in Mysuru, echoes Manjunath’s views, but believes it will take a long time to return to the pre-Covid tourism scenario.

“At the height of the pandemic, many Girl Guides I know suffered so much that they had to quit their jobs and make a living doing manual labor or had to sell vegetables to survive. The situation looks much better now.” , did he declare.

At the century-old Mysore Palace, designed by architect Henry Irwin for the Mysore royal family, large numbers of tourists came last week from Bengaluru as well as distant Calcutta to admire this gem. architectural.

Abha Mukherjee, 60, said she visited the palace, built by the Wodeyars, for the first time after the pandemic with her two sons and other relatives. Wearing a mask, she was seen taking group photos with family members against the stunning backdrop of the palace interiors.

“The situation has improved a lot, the tourism sector will slowly rebound if security is ensured and the level of confidence strengthened,” said Mukherjee, a former sportsman.

Shrikant Kyathappa, 31, from Kolar who works as a software engineer in Bangalore, was also among the palace visitors last Friday and agreed with Mukherjee, saying: “I feel more secure and the government of Karnataka is trying to revive state tourism. his feet”.

Over the past weekend, large crowds were seen at Brindavan Gardens, dating from the 1930s, located about 12 km from Mysuru, as visitors enjoyed the horticultural delights and the spectacle of musical fountains at the heritage site that is under by Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Limited.

“Karnataka has the spirit of resilience. Our tourism slogan is ‘One State, Many Worlds’. And, with the vaccination going on, we hope that we can eventually recover while ensuring safety,” said Ravi Alva, manager of the Mayura Cauvery hotel, in the picturesque premises of the famous gardens, managed by KSTDC.

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