Tourism-based businesses in Thanjavur are badly impacted due to fewer tourists.
Thanjavur: Tourism-dependent businesses in Thanjavur district are facing losses.Tourist guide Sundar said,“I used to earn minimum Rs.1000 per day, but now it’s not possible as no tourists are visiting like earlier. I usually guide domestic tourists from December to February every year.”
Murugan, a Rudraksha seller near Thanjavur temple said, “Local customers usually don’t buy from us like domestic and foreign tourists do. Every month there used to be foreign tourists. My per day earning has reduced to Rs.200 from Rs.1000.”
Tamil Nadu Tourism Department’s latest report says that Thanjavur is the fifth in the list of districts that attract domestic tourists. And third in attracting foreign tourists.
Professor Dr. Sarat Kumar Lanka from the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management said that during this pandemic, the government’s role is important in ensuring the safety of domestic tourists.
Bhuveneswari Saravanan, the seller of a dancing doll said, “Our business is dependent upon tourism as most locals do not buy dancing dolls.”
Ram, a tourist from Chennai district said “This is the first time I am visiting the Brihadishwara temple with my family. The dancing doll I have bought is a memento of this place.”
The Brihadishwara temple has been recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO since 1987.
Professor Lanka said, “To attract domestic tourists, the government should identify states which have a high number of tourists, and make them aware of the SOPs at the tourist places. Front office manager Pandian from Hotel Temple Tower said, “Our business is now running by renting marriage halls and by corporate customers. Every month we used to have 10-15 foreign and domestic customers. But it has changed after Covid-19.”
Manager Princy from Lakshmi Hotel said that customers are afraid to stay in hotels. She added, “We get calls from customers asking if any person staying in the hotel belongs to a state with high covid-19 cases.”
Pandian added, “We usually have four persons in one shift per department working but now only two persons are working per shift as many customers are not visiting.”
Professor Lanka said that businesses should form marketing strategies to attract local customers for the time being.
Sabesh HR executive from Sangam Hotels said that they are prepared with all precautions considering customers’ safety but because of Covid-19, customers are hesitant to stay.
Professor DR. Lanka said, “Government should take steps to inform tourists that these hotels have safety measures, and it is safe to travel because people trust the government more than anyone else.”