Published on : Friday, August 3, 2018
But this time around, the unexpected bouts of downpour in the hilly district of Idukki has literally upset the tourism department, which has been hoping to make a windfall in the Neelakurinji blossoming season. Rain has delayed the blossoming of Neelakurinji at Munnar, forcing tourists to cancel their trips.
Eravikulam National Park Wildlife Warden R Lekshmi told Express the forest department had started online booking a month ago anticipating Neelakurinji would blossom by mid-July. Now it is expected only by this month end. The mass blooming will take place a month after that.
There has been a considerable number of cancellation by tourists every day owing to the delay in blooming, she said. Those who reach Munnar unaware of it have been directed to small pockets in the region where it has bloomed. The rest are either postponing their booking date. The department has decided to allow 3,500 tourists a day.
Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran said the department has sanctioned `1.52 crore to arrange basic infrastructure facilities like parking lots, toilets, shower rooms and urinal and `1.4 crore for waste collection in the Neriamangalam-Munnar stretch.
The Neelakurinji season is expected to fetch the local economy Rs 300-400 crore as nearly eight lakh tourists from within the country and beyond are expected to visit the hill station over four months.
Munnar Homestay Association secretary Johnson Joseph said that though the Neelakurinji season draws nearly eight lakh tourists to Munnar in a short span of time, it’s not an ideal business model for the hill station as it leaves a big impact on the region.