Post-pandemic boost to Kodagu as helicopter tourism kicks off


Private operator transports tourists from Bangalore to seaside village near Tadiandamol

Even as successive governments continue to procrastinate on launching high-end tourist helitourism despite countless promises, Kodagu has taken the first step towards launching the post-pandemic initiative with local players taking the lead. ahead and giving the kick-off initiative that we have been talking about.

A group of tourists from Bengaluru landed in a helicopter in a village to explore the splendor of Coorg, staying at a resort town near one of Kodagu’s highest points – Tadiandamol. These tourists, instead of making the 6-hour trip to Madikeri from the IT hub, chose to fly by helicopter owned and operated by a private operator to reach the hill station.

In fact, Kodagu was also identified with Mysuru for the development of helipads by the tourism department which did not take off. However, a hospitality entrepreneur in Kodagu, Apparanda Sagar Ganapathy, who runs a resort in Kakkabe, coordinated with the helicopter operator to transport guests to his property where a Helicopter landing has recently been established in the complex to facilitate helitourism.

Mr Ganapathy, who is also president of the Association for Rural Tourism (ART), says the potential of rural tourism remains unexplored as businesses and affluent tourists are keen to explore life and lifestyles in the regions. villages. Helitourism can bring tourists who can afford helicopter rides to the most remote corners of Kodagu to experience the unparalleled beauty of the land of coffee and the villages of Coorg.

The villagers came in large numbers to attend the helitourism initiative. Kakkabe Panchayat President Kaliyanda Sampan and other residents were on hand to greet tourists.

Business leaders can hold their meetings in the great outdoors rather than in multi-story structures. They can arrive by helicopter, have a meeting, spend precious time and return to their destinations. Infrastructure can help promote this type of tourism, stakeholders believe.

Stakeholders in the hotel and hospitality sector in Kodagu, including ART and the Kodagu Tourism Association, are also in the process of identifying infrastructure where helicopters could land, bringing in tourists and promoting the helitourism in an important way. Another complex is also establishing the helicopter’s landing space, anticipating its potential, he said.

Kodagu has many luxury resorts that stakeholders believe are picking up their guests with the opening of post-pandemic tourism. But mid-range resorts lack business customers, especially those in the computer industry, have yet to return to their desks and continue to work from home.

“Before COVID-19, we used to receive groups of 25 to 30 people who came and stayed at resorts on weekends or holidays. These trips have ceased for a year and a half due to the pandemic. Until the offices start to function as before and the schools and colleges are functioning normally, the recovery in tourism may be prolonged, ”said Mr. Sagar.

Unlike other places, Kodagu is mostly covered with rolling hills with thick forest cover. It is necessary to establish a safe environment for the landing and take-off of helicopters. “If we provide infrastructure such as helipads or helipads, more operators can show interest in bringing tourists by helicopters, thereby boosting the tourism economy and helping to revive the sector,” the tour operators said.

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