Published on : Tuesday, September 22, 2020
The hotels remain vacant, the taxies unhired and the markets lack their usual hustle bustle – Ladakh is undoubtedly missing its guests!
Among those who are coming are either locals or people on official work.
“The corona virus has hit us hard and there are barely any tourists this season. The tourist season is coming to an end. To add to it, people are apprehensive about the ongoing tensions on the border,” taxi driver Cherring Namgyal said.
The Indian and global tourism industry has been hit hard by the corona virus pandemic, but its impact is felt harder in Ladakh because tourism here is limited to just a few months – mostly from April to mid-October – due to harsh winters.
“There has hardly been any business this year. There are simply no tourists due to corona virus pandemic and lockdown,” said Noordin, the vice-president of the Ladakh Taxi Operator Cooperative Ltd.
“Many taxi drivers are without work this year,” he said. “This year, some of the taxis have been hired by the Army.”
He added that the current tensions with China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) have also affected tourism in some way.
“Many tourists want to go to the Nurba Valley and Pangong Tso. But routes to some places have been shut because of the ongoing tensions,” he said.
The Pangong Tso Lake is one of those places in Ladakh where there is a built-up of troops on both sides. Noordin said that Ladakh still has much more to offer further than the regular tourist spots like Pangong Tso Lake.