Published on : Thursday, July 8, 2021
Uttarakhand is witnessing a rapid increase in tourist inflow after the state government relaxed restrictions imposed in the state for containing the spread of corona virus infection. With massive increase in footfalls, the fear of the third wave of the pandemic looms large with tourists showing a careless attitude towards adhering to Covid-19 protocols.
Uttarakhand’s Nainital has become a popular tourist destination with people who are locked up in their homes over the past few months, and are now thronging the hill station, which people are calling as ‘Revenge Tourism’.
Nainital’s streets are filled with tourists, with jam packed roads and vehicles and hotels running out of rooms.
While this increase in tourism is bringing a much-needed relief to the floundering tourism industry, there is a persistent fear of the third wave, especially with tourists flouting Covid-19 protocols.
The streets of Nainital are filled with people hanging around in groups with masks hanging on their chins, and families strolling without maintaining social distancing. This is worrying both the state government as well as experts who believe that India is not out of danger yet.
Ved Shah, owner of Alka Hotel on Mall Road said, “The least tourists can do is to wear a mask. Everyone associated with the tourism industry wants footfalls to increase, we are all welcoming our guests with open arms provided they wear a mask and follow protocols.”
Highlighting the need for stricter protocols Shah added, “The administration needs to be strict with those who are not following the protocol, anyone seen without a mask should be penalized heavily. Irresponsible behavior is like giving an open invitation to third wave.”
Visuals and videos of tourism restarting in the hill stations have left the government concerned. The state government has cautioned that people visiting hill stations and markets without following Covid-appropriate measures can reverse the gains made pandemic management so far.