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Travel, tourism take a backseat

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Just a trickle: Old city has almost turned taboo for foreign tourists after a series of bomb blasts rocked the city.
Just a trickle: Old city has almost turned taboo for foreign tourists after a series of bomb blasts rocked the city.

S. Sandeep Kumar

Global meltdown has a telling effect

Hyderabad: Global meltdown and terrorist attacks in the northern States had a cascading effect on travel and tourism business this season in the city. Travel agencies, generally busy during the peak October to December season are presenting a dreary look this winter.

Based on enquires and bookings registered last year, the industry is witnessing a slump of nearly 35 per cent this year.

There is a sharp decline in tourists visiting the city and those planning to visit other places from the city, said The Travel Agents Association of India State chapter chairman, Vijay Mohan Raj.

“This bad phase might continue till next March,” he says.

It is during this time of the year when most families plan pilgrimage to northern States and corporate employees and businessmen plan to visit tourist destinations.

While, the impact of terrorist attacks forced many families to shelve their plans, employees and businessmen are worried owing to the economic slowdown, says an assistant manager of Southern Travels.

Testimony

“During last Dasara and Diwali holidays, nearly 20 families from the city made bookings for a tour to Delhi and surrounding States but this year it has come down to 12. This itself is a testimony,” he says.

In addition to this, hike in air fares and user charges collected at different airports is making many corporate employees think twice before finalising a trip. It generally costs Rs. 20, 000 per couple for a four-day and five-night trip to Kerala, but air fares to Kerala could be more than that, says P. Sudhakar Rao of Rao Travels.

The industry is hoping to do good business during Christmas and New Year as many plan to visit Goa and Kerala. But given the high prices charged by hotels and restaurants during the season, even this appears to be bleak, he adds.


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