Updates from : the Hindu :
Revellers flock to tourist destinations as hotels celebrate with a variety of programmes
The State capital pulled out all the stops on Monday to ring in the New Year and put behind the scars caused by the recent floods. Revellers flocked to the famed tourist destinations to party hard until the turn of midnight and beyond.
Along expected lines, Kovalam and Varkala, the hot spots of the festivities, witnessed huge crowds with many thronging the beaches as early as afternoon.
Lavish fare at hotels
Hotels and resorts lined up a variety of programmes aimed at catering to various cross-sections with varying budgets.
While hotels, including those in the city, offered gala dinners, there were also a wide variety of accompanying entertainment, including theme parties, live bands, DJ parties, magic shows and games, fashion show, pool side parties, celebrity dance shows and karaoke. Fireworks turned out to be an added attraction at the celebrations.
Celebrations at clubs
Moreover, New Year celebrations were under way in at least three major clubs in the city, which had obtained permits to operate until midnight and also arranged a fleet of cabs to drop their members home.
The hospitality sector remained confident that the festivities would spark a turn in fortunes for an industry limping back to normality in the aftermath of the floods. According to Anu Rajan, Hotel Consultant, Star Hospitality, the initial signs of the tourist inflow on account of New Year celebrations appeared to be promising and augered well for the peak tourist season.
Away from the ‘spirited parties’, Shangumughom witnessed revelry that had many getting high on music. The programme, organised by Boys against Drugs, a collective of youngsters who have been campaigning against liquor and narcotic substances, involved the performances of four bands, including Avial, Dubai-based Darshan Shankar’s band, Bakery Junction, and a fledgling band of students of the College of Engineering, Muttathara.
According to Shyam Antony, the programme’s coordinator, this was the sixth time the programme was being held at Shangumughom. The programme got under way with a tribute to musician Balabhaskar. A performance by musician Ishaan Dev, who had sung in the late composer’s first album, set the tone for the event.
The city and adjoining areas came under a tight security blanket with the police deploying a large number of personnel across the region to ensure proper crowd control and prevent untoward incidents. Teams were stationed at major junctions to streamline traffic and also detect motor traffic violations.