MYSURU: The demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes and non-availability of notes in ATMs have affected the hospitality industry badly.
Though hotels, resorts and homestays in Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu districts usually make roaring business during weekends, it was a different story this weekend; non-availability of notes has forced many to stay back at homes.
The hotel industry which had witnessed poor tourist flow during Cauvery agitation, was again hit with the new development. There was poor turnout of tourists at Mysore Palace, zoo and Brindavan Gardens and there were less vehicles from neighbouring states on Mysuru city roads.
The Mysuru-Bengaluru road is known for bumper-to-bumper traffic during weekends with thousands of vehicles plying between the two cities, but not many vehicles were seen on the road on Saturday and Sunday.
It has affected business in more than 400 hotels and 50 petrol bunks on the busy road.
The non-availability of notes has affected small eateries, restaurants and mobile canteens that sell traditional Mysore style thali and other South Indian dishes. High-end restaurants have suffered as a few foreigners turned up.
Many tourists could not visit many places like Somanathapura, Bellur Halebedu and Hampi as they have no new currency notes to pay taxi drivers. However, a few of them who have arrived in groups are going to places as they had made payments in advance.
There was no rush for safari in Bandipur and BR Hills as there was no tourist flow from Bengaluru, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Ramesh, a hotelier, who made Rs 1.2 lakh on weekends and Rs 70,000 on week days, could not make even fifty per cent of the business.
“We accepted the demonetised notes for the first two days. But we stopped it to avoid chaos as we have no change and there is confusion as banks refuse to accept money in bulk,” he said.
“The hotel occupancy is less than 30 per cent in a majority of hotels in Mysuru city. We have no restaurant business for the past couple of days,” said Jairam, manager in a hotel.
Bank officials say it would take 2-3 weeks to dispense Rs 2,000 currency notes and hoteliers will have to suffer for sometime until the cash is easily available in ATMs and banks.
“However, the collection at Chamundhi Hills and other temples is likely to go up as many are generously dropping Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in hundis. The collection in cinema halls, mulitiplexes and malls has also come down,” sources said.