Uttarakhand’s tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, is placing its hopes in an assistance program for hoteliers, roadside restaurant owners, tours and tour operators, and people involved in adventure tourism who are suffering from a financial crisis. Tourism and Culture Minister Satpal Maharaj said on Friday June 4 that the state’s tourism industry is expected to lose Rs 1,600 crore in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to calculations.
Uttarakhand Tourism COVID Relief Package
He noted: “We have submitted a proposal to the Chief Minister seeking a back-up plan to revive our struggling tourism industry. Tourism is our bread and butter and it has suffered on many levels as a result of the pandemic. A back-up plan at this point will do a world of good for the people in the area. “
According to the findings of a study conducted by IIM Kashipur, COVID cost the Uttarakhand tourism business Rs 1,600 crore in 2020, while displacing more than 23,000 people. He mentioned that the losses suffered by the second corona wave this year have yet to be estimated. An assistance program has been requested for hoteliers, roadside restaurant owners, tour operators and tour operators and people involved in adventure tourism like rafting and trekking who are in financial difficulty due to the pandemic.
The minister added: “While Kumbh had to be cut down for the safety of people due to a raging second wave, the Chardham yatra has been hit hard by the Covid-induced restrictions for the second year in a row. It has been a blow to the tourism industry. “
Due to the second wave of the pandemic, which showed signs of slowing down in February-March, hotels in tourist hot spots like Nainital and Mussoorie have seen an increase in cancellations in recent months. The lack of tourists has also hurt tourism and travel businesses. For several weeks, a COVID curfew has been in effect in Uttarakhand and vehicle drivers have been almost completely off the roads. He explained: “A relief program for the tourism industry at this time will give it the much-needed boost.
Tourism industry facing livelihood emergencies
He added that the chief minister had been asked to include folk artists among the recipients of the aid as they had not had the chance to perform and earn money for more than a year. year because the tourism and culture department had not organized programs. Following the lifting of the COVID curfew in the state, he also suggested that Uttarakhand CM push for a gradual opening of Chardham Yatra.
Despite the fact that the famous Himalayan shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are open for daily prayers, pilgrims have been denied access due to COVID. RT-PCR test report negative, limiting the number of worshipers to around 3.5 lakh for the entire yatra season. The minister said, however, that although the tourism situation is grim, it should not despair.
Taking Dubai as an example, he said the tourism industry was already showing signs of recovery. He noted: “COVID is a global crisis. Many tourist centers around the world have fought it and overcame the challenges. We need to be inspired by it and look to the future with hope.”
(with PTI entries)
Photo credit: PTI