Dindigul, Sep 9 (UNI) Tourism activities were resumed in Kodaikanal, the popular and most sought holiday destination hill resorts in South India, on Wednesday The hill station, which usually attracts thousands of tourists from all over the country and from abroad, was shut down, since March following the outbreak of COVID-19.
With Tamil Nadu government easing some of the lockdown restrictions by allowing inter-district bus and train operations from September 7 and the stakeholders of the tourism industry in Kodaikanal requesting to open up tourism activities, the Dindigul district administration had given its permission to reopen only three tourists spots – Bryant Park, Rose Garden and Chettiar Park for the tourists from today onwards.
Other locations including the famous Berijam Lake,Green Valley View and among others would be opened in a phased manner after consultation with the forest and other department officials, official sources said.
Though the government has cancelled the e-pass system for inter-State and intra-State travels, it has made the e-pass a mandatory requirement for visitors to the popular tourist destinations like Kodaikanal, Ooty, Nilgris and Yercaud.
Dindigul Collector M.Vijayalakshmi said those applying for an e-pass to travel to Kodaikanal should click on the ‘tourist’ category on the online application.
Representatives from 16 associations, including hotel, cab owners, traders, tourists guides, roadside vendors and photographers etc had appealed to the government to reopen tourism activities in the hill station, as thousands of people depending upon the tourism industry had lost their livelihood owing to the COVID lockdown.
The economy of Kodaikanal is predominantly run by tourism.
Meanwhile, the Kodaikanal Hotel Owners’ Association welcomed reopening of tourism activities in the hill station.
Association President S.Abdul Gani Raja said after five months, we are hopeful of revival of the tourism industry.
A total of 315 hotels and resorts remained closed as per instructions since March and now that the district administration has given its permission, they will be opened for tourists in line with government norms, he said.