I am happy to let you know that Kerala as a destination is reviving on the whole and situation after the massive floods is improving on a daily basis.
Houseboats are operating. Airport is functioning smooth.
All roads are open now. All touristic activities have resumed including the Periyar ecotourism activities, Munnar sightseeing places are open.
With regard to Munnar, road is open. Temporarily the roads have been cleaned up and all light motor vehicles are being allowed to ply.
Yesterday our Regional Manager Mr. Christy and our Transport Manager drove to Munnar in person to check the road condition, sightseeing places and the overall experience it could give to any tourists who visit Munnar after floods. Driving time taken was 4.5 hours from Cochin. Temporarily roads have been made by cleaning up the land slide part and so there are chances to have variation in driving hours until the roads are fixed permanently. Vehicles up to tempo travellers are allowed but mini or Large coaches cannot ply on the existing roads. Our team visited Eravikulam national park, Tea museum, Mattupetty dam, Eco Point, Kundala dam & Top station. All these sightseeing places are indeed safe to visit. So in Munnar, Guests can visit Tea museum, Mattupetty dam, Eco Point, Kundala dam & Top station, enjoy the beauty of misty mountains, valleys, tea gardens, etc.
However please note, the park is 7kms away from Munnar town to Eravikulam national park entry area. To drive from Munnar to Eravikulam national park, guests need to cross a bridge which is 3kms away from Munnar town. This bridge is completely damaged in landslide. As of now vehicles are being stopped near the bridge and the guest need to walk on the temporary walkway made with concrete beam to cross the bridge. Once the guest crosses the bridge, a Tuk-Tuk (minimum Rs. 100 one way per tuk-tuk) need to be arranged to reach Eravikulam National park entry area and vice versa. As of now temporary bridge work is in progress and hopefully it will get ready within one or two weeks’ time.
Unfortunately while we drive, on the way to Munnar, we can see number of landslide hit areas (25 spots) with piled up mud and building debris on the road side which gives a very grave look. This site would only create any tourist a negative impact about Munnar. Most importantly, we are bringing clients to Munnar for a holiday and not for any adventure. So I personally feel that we should skip Munnar until 15th September as the situation will definitely improve by then. Let us not show clients how the city got affected in floods and landslide. In fact, till date we couldn’t get back few of our vehicles that got stuck in Munnar during floods as there is no proper road yet. It would take at least a week to 10 days for us to release the vehicle.
If in case, you are particular about sending clients to Munnar, then it is better to explain them clearly in detail the exact condition, also keep them informed that they would come across landslide hit areas along with the wreckages etc. However this will definitely create a negative impact & it would affect tourism on a long run basis. Hence it is wise to wait for another 10 to 15 days before sending guests to Munnar.
I understand that there are news in the media about water borne disease in Kerala. Please note this was reported in Malappuram area and there are no epidemics reported elsewhere in Kerala. As you know our media focuses more on their well-being than handling things from tourism perspective. So things are under control as Kerala Government is doing excellent work. There is no need to panic. Let us pray earnestly for the well-being of Gods’ own country .
With regard to Coorg, there is no rain in the last 2 days. However due to massive destruction and the extensive restoration work that is in progress, the District Authority in Coorg has issued orders not to allow tourists to Coorg and also not to open hotels until 9th September 2018.
I hope the above information is useful to plan your guests’ trip in South India.
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