It’s true that change is that one aspect that remains constant in the tourism industry. When you’re knee-deep in the industry, it’s only natural that you keep up with the ever-evolving nature of tourism. But ever since the pandemic, these changes have been happening at a pace that’s hard to keep up with. To make things easier, we bring to you some interesting travel destinations updates in India that you should know about –
In The North
Uttarakhand and the mountains of the North have been a personal favorite for domestic travelers. But the Covid-positive cases in the state of Uttarakhand are slowly on the rise – the state was also on high alert in August 2021. Considering the increase in cases, there were a few steps taken to slow track Uttarakhand’s move to the third wave. However, once the cases began to drop, there’s slowly been an ease in restrictions once again, taking quite the cyclical form.
One of the changes is that Mussoorie will now be open for tourists throughout the week and not just on the weekends. But tourists will still need to show a negative RT-PCR test not older than 72 hours.
In other news for the state, Uttarakhand’s Shri Hemkund Sahib Yatra is now open for devotees, starting 18th September 2021. Keep in mind that this is done with certain conditions in place. For instance, there’s a limit of just 3 people allowed inside the temple at one time. Some great news for wildlife enthusiasts is that the Rajaji Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand is now to remain open throughout the year for those interested in going on a safari!
In The South
We all know that the state of Kerala has been a top holiday destination for foreign and domestic tourists alike. In 2019 alone, the revenue the state earned from the tourism industry is estimated to be INR 45,010.69 crores. It was recorded that the state received 1.83 crore domestic tourists and nearly 12 lakhs international tourists in 2019. Due to the pandemic, it’s believed that the industry incurred a loss of INR 25,000 crore from January to December 2020.
To resurrect the industry, the ministry of tourism is trying its best and a shining example of that is Vythiri. This is a region in Kerala that’s become the first tourism destination to be fully vaccinated.
It’s true that after the pandemic, there’s a pursuit for safety when holidaying more than anything else. Considering that being the trend, the Ministry of Tourism in Kerala is aiming to have all tourist destinations fully vaccinated just like Vythiri. In addition, the government also has plans to create tourism circuits that tie the several rivers in Kerala. This initiative is taken in hopes to increase water activities in lesser-known rivers like Anjarakandi River in Kannur that have the potential to be included.
In The East
Glad tidings are announced for the northeast as per the latest tourism budget for 2020-2021. The tourism budget mentions that a staggering sum of INR 1,200 crores is dedicated towards the development of tourist circuits in 8 northeast states of India. With the financial help from the government, we only hope to see an increase in the footfall of people to northeastern states.
It’s true that they have been under the radar for too long, therefore to boost airway connectivity and make it easier to get to travel to the best of Northeast, the project ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik’ has been fruitful. The outcome of this project is that you can now take a direct 1-hour flight from Imphal (Manipur) to Shillong (Meghalaya). With the commencement of this flight, Meghalaya is more than ready to welcome more tourists with open arms. But, only those who have taken both doses of the vaccine can visit. If you’ve not taken the vaccination, it’s necessary to provide a negative RT-PCR report.
In The West
The Maharashtra government is using the downtime they got due to Covid to improve the quality of places of tourist interest. A plan that is still a work in progress is the set up of beach shacks in lesser-known beach towns like Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. The beaches that should soon have beach shacks installed are – Kelwe, Bordi, Diveagar, Varsoli, Aare-Ware, Guhgar, Tarkali and Kunkeshwar.
The government believes that the Konkan coast is less explored and there is plenty of potential to revive its current state to make it attractive to tourists. The second set of tourism revival for Maharashtra revolves around the belief of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ meaning Guest is God, hence making more quality facilities available for existing tourist spots.
A notable mention of a place in Maharashtra getting attention after the restrictions have been eased is the Nashik-based wineries. Data by All-India Wine Producers’ Association indicates that nearly 12,000 tourists choose to visit a winery in Nashik in August 2021. Before Covid, the wineries here generated a revenue of nearly 8 crore due to tourism. In 2021, this wine industry is back to generating 4.5 to 5 crore a month. It looks like the road to recovery looks nearer than it seems.
Big Initiatives By Indian Railways
The Indian railways is also rolling out a few new ideas to get the wheels churning for the travel industry. Most of the new circuits being launched by IRCTC are in sync with the government’s campaign ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ which is all about promoting domestic tourism. In light of that, there are two religious train circuits soon to be launched namely –
The Gurudwara Circuit Train – The Indian railways have plans to launch trains that help Sikh devotees reach places of worship without much difficulty. The Gurudwara Circuit Train will cover places of religious importance such as Gurdwara Harminder Sahib, Amritsar, Gurdwara Damdama Sahib, Nanded, Gurdwara Patna Sahib, and Gurdwara Huzur Sahib in a span of 11 days.
The Shri Ramayana Yatra – This railway route will cover all the places of sacred importance and temples that are connected to the Hindu God Rama. The entire train journey will last for 17 days.
Another noteworthy update is that the Darjeeling toy train service that was shut from March 2020, has finally resumed services on August 25th, 2021. This colonial train’s return allows visitors to enjoy great views of the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.
Let’s face it, there are a ton of updates happening within the industry in terms of restrictions being lifted and then imposed again. Travel trends are changing, and staying ahead of the game gives you an advantage. Overall, the more you keep yourself updated with the changes, the better you’ll be able to play part in reviving the industry.