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Monday, Dec 13, 2004

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Home stays are a Coorg speciality

C.J. Punnathara

Kochi , Dec.12

DESPITE its dominance in the hospitality sector, Kerala has much to learn from the Coorg tourism experience, says Mr Viji John, Managing Director of Misty Woods resorts in Coorg.

The tourism experience of Coorg is quite different from that of Kerala. While tourism in Kerala revolves around widely dispersed resort properties, which in turn extend their geographic reach through urban gateways and city properties, the experience of Coorg has been entirely different. Though a recent entrant to the tourism circuit, Coorg district of Karnataka has carved out an entirely different route map to promote its inherent tourism potential.

Instead of using city hotels and resort properties as building blocks to harness its tourism potential, Coorg has built up a network of over 1000 home stays, linking every part of the district, Mr Viji John, who has transformed his 120-acre plantation into a resort, said. Though the absence of a major gateway and prominent city properties are perceived as a handicap, they have not deterred the development of the region into a tourist destination.

Instead, it is a different tourism growth cycle that is becoming evident in the region. After the proliferation of home stays in Coorg, it is now the turn of resorts to take root in this land of coffee and plantations.

Misty Woods is just the second resort property to come up in the district; the first being the well-established Orange County. As this unique growth process gets into full steam, the gateways to the district and major city properties are also expected to come up.

This is quite unlike the Kerala experience where it was the gateways, city properties and then the resorts that sprang up. God's Own Country is yet to tap the potential of home stays.

It is a vital engine of tourism growth, since it consists of small independent houses, which mesh very well with the immediate culture and environment, and are ecologically the most sustainable, sources in the hospitality sector said.

More Stories on : Tourism | Karnataka

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