KOCHI: It’s that time of the year every kid looks forward to eagerly. The schools are shut and with offices closed on account of the Holy Week, families find it convenient time to embark on a tour. However, the trend has given the candidates contesting the Lok Sabha polls a heartbreak as they fear it will have a negative impact on the voting percentage.
From Thursday to Tuesday, there are four holidays and if an employee takes leave on Saturday, it will give the family six days’ time for a vacation tour. According to sources, many families across the state are vacationing at various tourist destinations. People settled in cities have found it an opportunity to visit their native villages.
Major tourist destinations in the state, including Munnar, are buzzing with activity and almost all hotels in the hill station are full for the past three days. There is a steep increase in tourist arrival in Alappuzha and almost all houseboats are booked for the next two days.
Rasna, a housewife from Kannur who arrived in Ernakulam along with a group of family friends, said they had planned the tour much before the election dates were declared. “We can’t change our tour plan just because it is polling day. After all, the whole exercise is a farce. We rarely get such an opportunity to enjoy a vacation with friends and families,” she said. “Though we had good bookings for April, many people cancelled the bookings after election was declared. As many employees are on election duty they have postponed their tour plans. Many families have gone on tour during the Holy Week, but it is not unusual,” Vivekandana Travels managing director C Narendran told Express.
However, the hotel owners and shopkeepers at Munnar are upbeat. “For the first time since the devastating floods, the hill station has regained its glory. All hotel rooms are packed for the past three days. We have guests from Bengaluru, Chennai and Ahmedabad, apart from local tourists. We have enough booking for next week,” said Munnar Hotel and Resorts Owners’ Association president Dileep Pottamkulam.
“There is a steady increase in arrival of local tourists for the past three days. All the houseboats are booked for the next two days. This is the first time we are experiencing such tourist rush. Most of the guests are from North Kerala,” said Bobby George, a houseboat owner in Alappuzha. Senior CPM leader C M Dinesh Mani, who coordinates the campaigning for LDF Ernakulam candidate P Rajeev, said the party had anticipated the issue much ahead. “We knew people will be going on tour during the Holy Week as they get more holidays. So we convinced the families during our squad work and they have assured to come back on the polling day,” he said.