“Bookings have started in the hotels in Puri. About 70 per cent of the booking in the hotels have already been made by the tourists. Full-fledged operations will begin by October 18,” said Raj Kishore Patra, member, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha and managing director, Hotel Holiday Resort, Puri.
About 80 per cent of the bookings in hotels in Puri were cancelled by the tourists due to the cyclone scare, he informed. The bookings were cancelled from October 11, the day before the devastating cyclonic storm hit the state. Industry sources said, tourist traffic has gathered momentum after the news of power restoration and resumption of train services in Puri, which is also the abode of Lord Jagannath.
Phailin, which made a landfall near Gopalpur on October 12, had brought normal life in the coastal districts to a standstill. City based hotel group Mayfair Hotels and Resorts has restored its operations in Puri and Bhubaneswar. “The full scale operations at our Gopalpur property will start from October 20 while partial operations will be started from October 17 for the guests with minimum facilities,” said Pradipta Mohapatra, general manager (sales and marketing), Mayfair Hotel. Restoration work is in full swing at the Gopalpur hotel, he added.
The ongoing Puja season is the key for the hoteliers in the state as tourists from the neighboring West Bengal throng the temple town which has about 500 hotels and lodgings. “We are apprising the tourists that normalcy has returned in Puri and the tourists enquiries has started gathering momentum. The roads to Sun Temple, Konark and Satapada have also been cleared,” said B K Jena, tourist officer, Puri.