Domestic tourism in India is taking baby steps in the new normal. There are new rules being laid down by the administration which visitors have to follow. Thermal screening, masks, physical distancing are the order of the day.
Taj Mahal opens up
After a six months hiatus, India’s popular heritage monuments, Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort, will reopen from September 21 now.
The monuments were shut down for public visitors from March 17 before the nationwide lockdown was imposed to control the spread of Coronavirus.
It was for the first time after World War II and the Indo-Pak battle in 1965 and 1971 that the Taj Mahal was closed to the public for a protracted period of time. The western doors of the monument were also closed during the Yamuna floods of 1978.
As per reports, “Taj Mahal will allow around 5000 visitors per day – 2500 before lunch, and 2500 after lunch. “
The state of Maharashtra brings to you a little surprise to get set for traveling again. You can now go on an adventurous vacation or visit tourist hotspots by renting a customised caravan vehicle, when in Maharashtra. Recently, the state-run Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Mothom jointly launched campervans to encourage people to go on road trips again.
This type of travel enables you to skip that airport or, as a matter of fact, buses and train stations. In fact, renting a campervan allows you to get rid of the anxiety of getting infected, explore places at your own pace. All you have to do is pick a scenic spot of your choice, pull up your van, and make it your bedroom.
Kerala, God’s Own Country
Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Co- Operation, Tourism and Devaswom in Government of Kerala, announced that the state is planning to welcome tourists in early October now.
Kerala tourism department has prepared a report and plan for the same, with a very emphasis on safety and SOPs for the same. Mr Surendran, referring to the plan, was quoted as saying, “The plan includes highlighting the importance of wellness and ayurveda for immunity. “
It has to be noted that Kerala has tourism as its major revenue-generating industry, and added 12 per cent to the state’s GDP in 2019. 4000 hotels in addition to 1000 houseboats and homestays, Ayurvedic centres, tour operators were, reportedly, reeling under immense financial strain with the shutdown of tourism in Kerala.
Meanwhile, the pink lilies blooming over the backwater villages in Kottayam, Kerala, are now going online. These lilies bloom every monsoon, and now the Kerala Tourism authorities are promoting them for online tours. According to the latest reports, agencies like the Kerala Tourism, India Tourism and the Malarikkal Tourism Society have shot guided tours of the flowering locations and other development in Kerala. These videos will be telecast online through official websites of these agencies very soon.
In addition, the tourism departments are also filming videos on the rural experience and scope of backwater tourism of areas like Vaikom, Kumarakom.
In the year 2019 alone, about 80000 tourists had visited Malarikkal. This also helped the local boatmen, 120 or so in number, earn about INR 12 lakhs as total income. The government of Kerala has also announced plans to host a pink water lily festival, similar to the Tulip Festival held in Amsterdam. However, no tourists have been able to make it to the fest so far.