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Tourism gets a boost, courtesy schools

D. Radhakrishnan

Parents and students are regular customers of hotels These visitors account for about 7 per cent of the annual turnover of some of the hotels



AFTER A MEAL: Students stepping out of a restaurant in Udhagamandalam. - Photo: D. Radhakrishnan

Udhagamandalam: What have educational institutions got to do with tourism? Plenty, say knowledgeable sections of the society in this hill station.

Over the decades, the contribution of many of the schools in the district towards promoting tourism has been significant, they say.

Renowned place

The Nilgiris, being a renowned place for school education, has been catering to the needs of students from different parts of the country and the world. The periodical visit of parents and relatives of the children have done a world of good to the cause of tourism.

Nilgiri Hotels and Restaurants Association (NHRA) president, Umesh Nahar said that whenever leading schools celebrated special occasions like Founders Day, hotels and restaurants did good business at least for a couple of days.

Residential schools

Even during weekends when residential schools allowed their students to stay outside with their relatives, the hotels benefited. Such visitors accounted for about seven per cent of the annual turnover of some of the hotels. A departmental shopowner, Pradeep Mohan said that about 50 per cent of his business came from such customers and if the flow was affected, many traders would find it difficult to survive.

Assured income

"Students and their parents are a source of assured income to us," says L. Shanker, a supermarket owner.

However, some of the parents said that the deplorable condition of basic amenities such as roads was, of late, making them think twice before undertaking the trip to Udhagamandalam.

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