Published on : Wednesday, March 4, 2020
A tourism ministry official said, “There is a global scare. It is not just about India. People are not wanting to step out anywhere. If the entire economy is getting impacted, tourism would get hit too.”
On Monday, India announced two new positive cases of the Covid-19 infection – a patient in New Delhi with a travel history to Italy and the other in Telangana who has returned from Dubai.
India has temporarily postponed visas to visitors from China and foreigners who had visited China, along with restricting travelers from several other affected countries, with fresh cases emerging in Europe and the US, leisure and business travel, both incoming and outgoing, being affected.
“Travel on the whole will be at a standstill for some time. The Indian government has suspended visas for certain countries and we are facing tough times as hotels and luxury trains are not willing to give refunds to these travelers. The country’s image should be more important than earning money,” said Pranab Sarkar, the president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators.
Specific attractions globally have been impacted, like the cherry blossom season in Japan (March-April). “We had a few enquiries from customers who were planning visits to Japan for the cherry blossom season. But after the cruise liner incident of Japan, the same set got back saying they’ll look at it next year,” said Subhash Motwani, the founder of Namaste Tourism.