Tourism boom: Dakshina Kannada welcomes record numbers of visitors

Shilpa K

Mangaluru, May 18: Located just 347 km away from the IT capital, Dakshina Kannada is a coastal paradise for the country’s youngsters nestled in Bengaluru. The district encompasses picturesque Western Ghats on the east and an expanse of blue waters of the Arabian Sea on the west. Bearing a rich cultural history, impressed along its narrow winding streets, terracotta-roofed houses, temples, and churches, it is a perfect tourist destination for people from all over the country. Every year, beginning from December, tourist statistics increase in soaring numbers all the way through summer. This year too, despite the exceptionally high mercury levels, the district has witnessed a surge in both domestic and foreign tourists. By the end of April, beginning from January, the tourism department has registered one crore (1,65,96,212) visitors. In January- 4,109,637, February- 4,322,081, March- 3,900,289, and April- 4,264,205 tourists visited the district.

The department collects information regarding visitors at places such as beaches at Surathkal, Panambur, Ullal, Someshwar, Sasihithlu, Tannirbhavi and Talapady, Kateel Durgaparameshwari Temple, Netravati river, Srimathbhai Government Museum, Dharmasthala Temple, Venur Gomateshwara, Jamalabad Fort, Sultanbateri watchtower, postal card collection centre in Pandeshwar, Pilikula Nisargadhama, Nellitheertha Guhalaya, Gurpur river, and Moodbidri thousand pillar Jain Basadi.

Other places include the Western Ghats, water falls at Ermai, Thodikana, Didupe and Kadamagundi, Mathsyadhama, Enmur Bhantamale and Pumale, Shivaram Karant Balavana, Ananthavadi Pandavas’ Cave, Sammilana Butterfly Park, Kukke Subramanya Temple, Bappanadu Durgaparameshwari Temple, Maroli Sooryanarayana Temple, Bendre Theerta, Sahastralingeshwara Temple, Shiradi, Birumalle Betta, and Pedumale Betta.

Amongst the highest foreign tourist-attracted places, Moodbidri Thousand Pillar Basadi and Pilikula Nisrgadhama run in parallel. This year, Dakshina Kannada has seen 4,413 foreigners’ visits, with 890 and 830 at Moodbidri Jain and Pilikula respectively. In January, Dharmasthala experienced a peak in foreign visitors, reaching 430. However, the numbers dropped sharply to 5 in February and 0 in March before rising again to 280 in April. Other foreign attraction places include Panambur and Surathkal beach, and Dharmasthala Temple.

Manikhya, deputy director of the tourism department, opined, “The Shakti scheme, which allows women to travel for free within Karnataka, has boosted tourism. Additionally, during the summer months, due to school holidays following examinations, an increase in tourism can be witnessed.”

The average hotel occupancy from March onwards, as recorded by the Mangaluru Hotel Association (R), was 60%, followed by 55% in April, and then maintained at 60% until the second week of May. Now, it has hiked up to 80%. The occupancy is based on 80 hotels, including Hotel BMS, Hotel Roopa, Safron Hotel, Ginger, Deepa Comforts, Avatar, Karuna Residency, Ocean Pearl, and Sai Palace located in Surathkal, Deralakatte, Ullal, and other areas of Mangalore. Nishant Suvarna, General Secretary of the Mangalore Hotel Association, said, “The year began with a good occupancy rate; however, in April, due to election-related travel obstructions, the hotel occupancy witnessed a significant depletion, which is now coming back to good numbers.”

The district has seen an evident surge in tourism over the past three years. It had plummeted to 1,28,91,513 in 2022, owing to the pandemic. Subsequently, the figures saw a rise to 3,28,56,725 in the year 2023, and finally, by 2024, just by the month of April, the district has witnessed 1,65,96,212 visitors.

Amit, hailing from Uttar Pradesh and currently living in Bengaluru, said, “I have heard from a friend that the train route between Bengaluru and Mangaluru is quite an experience with beautiful scenery and tunnels. It is on my bucket list for this monsoon.”

Ranjitha, hailing from Tumakuru district and now settled in Bengaluru, visited Mangaluru last month as a newlywed couple. She said, “We had a great time at the beaches all located in Gokarna, including Kudle Beach and Om Beach, which was amazing.”

Uthara, along with her friends from the Central University of Kerala, said, “We came to Mangaluru with the intention of attending a K-pop festival, but we ended up not going to that. Instead, we enjoyed our time exploring St Aloysius Chapel, malls, and museums.”

Deeksha, residing in Mangaluru, who visited Kateel Temple with her mother last week, said, “We usually visit Kateel Temple on a holiday so that we can avoid a long queue. By the time we were returning after receiving the goddess's blessings, the line had grown impossibly longer.”

Despite the extreme weather conditions, tourists and pilgrims are seen pouring into the district in heaps. With the beginning of pre-monsoon showers, the figures are expected to increase.





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Comment on this article

  • Raghav, Mangalore

    Mon, May 20 2024

    ಎಲ್ಲ ಘಟ್ಟದವರೆ ತುಂಬಿದ್ದಾರೆ

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • M.Mathias, Mangalore

    Sun, May 19 2024

    Tourists reduced in BJP ruled states.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • ayes p, kudla/ksa

    Sun, May 19 2024

    This is because of "Shakti Scheme" and credit goes to present state government .

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prem, moodbidri

    Sun, May 19 2024

    Install more and more CCTV cameras, appoint sufficient life guards across the beaches. Tourists usually go crazy looking beaches and ignore safety of their life.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbai-Mangalore

    Sun, May 19 2024

    Majority of this tourism boom including religious tourism in Karnataka has been fuelled by free bus travel for women, blessing in disguise for small to medium sized businesses all over...

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • G R PRABHUJI, Mangalore

    Sun, May 19 2024

    Very good news that more and more tourists are visiting, but at the same time administration must appoint more life saving guards at entire beach for safety.

    DisAgree Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • True politician, Kudla

    Sat, May 18 2024

    Yes it's because of sidda government and All the tourists from all over India came to know that it's Padmaraj R Poojary will going to be the new MP and the golden days of late sreenivas mallya, janardhan Poojary are coming to dakshina Kannada. Sarvejana sukhuno bhavantu...Tak..Tak..Tak..

    DisAgree [19] Agree [45] Reply Report Abuse

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