With the Christmas and New Year holiday season round the corner, the tourism sector seems to be perking up. Though the fun factor and sprucing up can nowhere be like what they used to be, there’s a sure and steady increase in the arrival of tourists.
Post lockdown, tourist centres started throwing open their doors by early November. As a result, tourists from neighbouring states as well as from North India have started trickling in to Kochi.
With bookings in full swing, hotels and resorts too have started seeing light after a long lull of darkness. However, Fort Kochi seems to be a singular exception. As international flights are yet to begin full swing operations, foreign tourists will not be a feature this time in Fort Kochi to light up New Year. This has left a lot of home stays in the lurch. Most of them have shut shop. But the beach looks like a most favoured destination with people flocking in, soaking up the sun and enjoying the sea. Several other places of attraction within Ernakulam district are also throbbing with life.
District authorities say the attractive Ezhattumugham, which lies on the way to the Athirappilly waterfalls is the season’s most sought after tourism spot. This is where the river Chalakudy spreads out and the wild beauty of the place is a big draw.
The Cherai and Fort Kochi beaches have also started crowding up. The authorities have put steps in place to control the crowd in Ezhattumugham with police patrolling the place to book those violating COVID protocols.
The tourist flow has begun looking up at picturesque spots like the Thattekad bird sanctuary, the wildly beautiful and rocky Paniyeli Poru and Bhoothathan Kettu dam site. The tourism department recently opened several facilities including boating and tree house stays at Bhoothathan Kettu.
With facilities opening up for water sports at Munambam beach, the place has been witnessing a rush of pleasure-seekers and adventure tourists from other states. Folks can opt for kayaking, surfing and banana rides. The presence of trained personnel who can guide tourists in their preferred adventure rides is a bonus here.
All these positive changes have added a fillip to the plans of the tourism department. It’s interesting to note that while in previous years, the average daily tourist count used to be more than 3,000 at Ezhattumugham, it’s trickled down to a mere 600 now. Right now on holidays, while over 250 people come to Bhoothathan Kettu, around 400 can be seen at Munambam beach.