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Category: Travel

Oct 15, 2013, PURI: Contrary to expectations, the tourism industry at Puri sprang back to life on Monday, only two days after cyclone Phailin swept through the beach town. Industry sources said the occupancy status in hotels spiralled to an unexpected 80 percent from just 5 percent recorded on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

"We have started receiving inquiries from tourists, who are eager to visit Puri. Bookings are being made in full swing," said Yugabrata Kar, secretary of Odisha tour operators' association.

"We have completed the restoration in our hotel after cyclone cause minor damage. Guests would start coming either from Monday evening or Tuesday morning. Bookings are full for the next fifteen days," said Mayfair Hotel's manager (Puri) Sanjeeb Pattnaik.

Hotel Association of Puri's (HAP) secretary Rajkishore Patra said nearly one lakh tourists arrived in Puri between Sunday evening and Monday afternoon. "Inflow of tourists gained momentum after the Howrah and Delhi bound trains started running from Sunday evening," Patra said.

Many tourists, who were evacuated from Puri to nearby hotels in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and other non-coastal districts in the event of the cyclone and high tide warnings, are back in Puri. Though power supply was not restored till Monday afternoon, the hotels are using generators to generate backup power sources.

The beach was abuzz with activity as tourists in large numbers thronged the shore on Monday after the turbulent sea turned tranquil.

Earlier the tourism industry suffered body blow following large-scale cancellations of bookings from Thursday. Tourism director Manoranjan Pattnaik on Saturday said the tourism and hospitality sector in the state incurred loss in crores. "Luckily, the tourism sector started limping back to normalcy in quick time. This is a good sign," Pattnaik said.  -- TIMES OF INDIA

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