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Bhopal

Updated on: Thursday, December 30, 2021, 11:21 PM IST

To hell with Omicron: Holidayers flock to madhya Pradesh's tourist places to welcome 2022

NO rooms: Hotels, resorts in Pachmarhi, tiger reserves all booked
Tourists enjoying hot air balloon ride at ongoing Mandu Utsav in Mandu ,Madhya Pradesh on Thursday  | Anand Shivre

Tourists enjoying hot air balloon ride at ongoing Mandu Utsav in Mandu ,Madhya Pradesh on Thursday | Anand Shivre

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BHOPAL: Tourist places in Madhya Pradesh are chock-a-block with tourists for New Year celebrations despite the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country and the growing threat of the new Omicron variant.

A large number of vacationers from different parts of the state as well as the country have flocked to popular destinations in the state to welcome 2022. All the hotels and resorts operated by the MP Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC) as well as private ones in the state are fully booked for the New Year weekend.

Wildlife destinations are the favourites of tourists, wanting to celebrate the New Year. “We don’t have a single room to spare in our units at Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench and Panna National Parks,” says MPTDC managing director S Vishwanathan.

Tourists at Kanha National Park
Visitors at Pachmarhi
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All the rooms in these units are booked for up to January 2. The cottages and tents at Hanuwantia are also full and so are hotels and resorts in Orchha, Madhai and Amarkantak. Pachmarhi is also overflowing with tourists.

Pachmarhi draws tourists from Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal. “People haven’t been able to visit tourist places for almost two years. And so, they are coming out in large numbers,” he says.The bookings had started in October. Besides the regional and marketing offices of the MPTDC, bookings were made online and through travel planning portals like MakeMyTrip and Yatra.com. The corporation runs 66 hotels and resorts with 1281 rooms in the state.

Tourists enjoying hot air balloon ride at ongoing Mandu Utsav in Mandu ,Madhya Pradesh on Thursday

Tourists enjoying hot air balloon ride at ongoing Mandu Utsav in Mandu ,Madhya Pradesh on Thursday | Anand Shivre

According to Vishwanathan, the entire reception, kitchen and housekeeping staff of the MPTDC have been fully vaccinated. The guests will also be required to carry vaccination certificates.

Owner of Om Tours and Travels, Bhopal, Girish Kesharwani, says that there is no room in private hotels and resorts in Pachmarhi, Ratapani and other wildlife destinations in the state.

He says that the state’s tourist places are full because people are avoiding faraway destinations like Goa and Andamans out of fear that the Covid situation may worsen in the days to come. “At least 50% bookings for hotels and resorts in Goa and Andamans made through us have been cancelled over the past 15 days,” he says.

According to Kesharwani, most European countries are out of favour because of restrictions on international travel. “Among foreign places, people from the state are going only to Maldives and most of them are honeymooners,” he says.

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Published on: Thursday, December 30, 2021, 11:22 PM IST
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