Hoteliers protest closure of Mysuru zoo

Mysuru: A large numbers of hoteliers staged a demonstration in front of the Mysuru zoo here on Tuesday against the closure of the zoo for a month in the wake of recent death of birds owing to avian influenza.

They raised slogans against the zoo authorities for closing the zoo for such a long period. Addressing the gathering, C. NarayanaGowda, president, Mysuru Hotel Owners’ Association, said the zoo authorities had successfully warded off avian flu threat several times in the past. He said the zoo, which was set up about 150 years ago, had not been closed for a month for any reason. He questioned the rationale behind closing it for a month. He said that the zoo is a prominent tourist spot and urged the authorities to reopen it in the best interests of the tourism sector. Tourism and the hospitality sector have already been hit hard for the last six months owing to the Cauvery dispute and demonetisation, said Rajendra, president, Karnataka State Hotel Owners’ Association.

Closure of the zoo has further hit the business of vehicle operators, he said.

The association cautioned the government that if it failed to direct the zoo authorities to reopen the zoo in five days, it would intensify its agitation. The hoteliers were supported by the Travel Agents’ Association and the Mysuru district Auto-rickshaw Drivers’ Association.

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