BENGALURU: Buses running empty and hotels not having enough visitors even during what is considered the peak tourist season has become the norm ever since high-denomination notes were demonetised last week.
The Karnataka tourism industry is reporting huge losses: while private tourist taxi operators estimate a 50 per cent drop in business, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Karnataka State Hotels and Restaurants Association claim that business has dipped by 25 to 30 per cent over the last few days, reports The Hindu.
Rajender Kumar Kataria, managing director, KSRTC, said direct bookings had dropped by 25 per cent. However, online ticket reservations have seen a drop of about 10 per cent. “During weekdays we get revenue of Rs. 7.25 crore, while weekends fetch us over Rs. 8 crore,” he said, and added that weekend business was down by Rs. 1 crore.
During November and December, nearly 95 per cent of the KSRTC’s 8,400-odd fleet strength hits the road because of an increase in the number of tourists from and to Bengaluru.
However, in the last few days, they have been operating fewer buses. “Usually during weekends over 25,000 tickets are booked from and to Bengaluru from places such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. This weekend, it dropped to 20,000,” Mr. Kataria said.
Meanwhile, R.K. Holla, president, Bangalore Tourist Taxi Operators’ Association, said that people were not able to withdraw money from ATMs because of which there had been a drastic drop in the number of tourists visiting hills stations and pilgrimage spots in Karnataka and the neighbouring States.