KOVALAM: With just a few days left for the peak tourist season to conclude, it is a bleak scene at the famed beach resort of Kovalam, with footfalls having fallen drastically.
While a number of domestic tourists still visit the palm-fringed beaches of the coastal town, the destination seems to have lost favour among the foreigners, who are the main source of income for stakeholders of the tourism industry, reports The Hindu.
On the Lighthouse beach, the usual haunt of foreign tourists, restaurants bear a deserted look, and three-fourths of the beach umbrellas and cots laid out for sunbathing remain unused.
Sam Kutty, who rents out beach umbrellas and cots, says that even the few tourists who come these days do not stay for too long. For instance, Ursula Harrys from Austria, who reached Kovalam on Monday, says she is cutting her trip short and heading for Colombo tonight, as “this is just not her kind of place.”
A multitude of reasons, ranging from the shortage of basic infrastructure such as drinking water and rest rooms to the 10.30 p.m. deadline set for shops to down shutters, are responsible for this situation, according to vendors and restaurant employees.
For one, the Excise Department has been creating distress among the tourists this season by conducting frequent checks at hotel rooms.
“The officials do not understand that people who come from colder regions drink beer to cope with the 30-odd degree Celsius temperature here,” says Mohan M.T., steward at Kingfisher Restaurant.