Andhra Pradesh

State tourism sector hit as COVID-19 shadow lengthens

Even as officials said A.P. has not been affected in any way and steps were being taken to prevent the outbreak of the virus, fear is haunting the tourists.

Even as officials said A.P. has not been affected in any way and steps were being taken to prevent the outbreak of the virus, fear is haunting the tourists.   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

Large-scale cancellation of bookings has operators worried

Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak which has created panic in over 30 countries with more than 2,500 casualties till date, has also impacted the tourism sector in Andhra Pradesh.

Many international and national trade fairs have been cancelled, tourists have dropped their overseas’ visits plans, particularly to China.

Even as officials said A.P. has not been affected in any way and steps were being taken to prevent the outbreak of the virus, fear was haunting the tourists.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), international tour operators, personnel of many national travel and tour operators said there has been a drop in bookings for both domestic and international tours.

“We arrange at least two packages to the U.S., Japan, Australia, Philippines, China, Singapore, Thailand, Nepal and other countries every month. Many trips have been cancelled in the last one month reflecting the seriousnes of the situation,” said an international operator.

“In China, Thailand and the Philippines, many hotels have stopped bookings and tourist spots have been closed. Similarly, there is no inflow of tourists from other countries,” said Purushotham, a booking agent of Rajamahendravaram.

The Medical and Health Department and the AP Vaidya Vidhan Parishad sounded an alert and arranged special wards in many hospitals and about 200 patients were kept in home isolation for observation.

“Recently, four Chinese nationals working for a mobile phone company arrived in Vijayawada and they were immediately kept under home isolation,” said District Medical and Health Officer (DH&HO) T. Sriramachandra Murthy.

Cascading effect

Speaking to The Hindu, India International Travel Exhibition director Anurag Gupta said other States such as Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu which register impressive footfall have also been affected.

“There is no business in many hotels affecting the livelihood thousands of people dependent on the tourism sector,” Mr. Gupta said. The situation may continue for the next few months, he added.

“We have many domestic and a few international packages. There is a great demand for temple tourism, but even that has taken a hit,” said a tourist operator of Tirupati.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 10:29:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/state-tourism-sector-hit-ascovid-19-shadow-lengthens/article30926220.ece

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