It was exactly a year ago the gateway of India - Mumbai was under the siege of terrorists. 26/11 in 2008 is a day of horror in the minds of Mumbaites. The World saw the terrorists’ activities and the commando operations live on many channels. The burning picture of Taj Hotel symbolizes the terror unleashed in the Mumbai coast. The 60 hr long battle saw the terrorists galloping at-last and equally with great sacrifices of Indian warriors. More than 160 people lost their lives and few hundreds were injured.
On this day, the great Indian symbols were attacked. Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Palace, Oberoi Hotel and Nariman House were some of the important monuments attacked by the terror networks. It was not the first time these patriotic monuments were aimed by miscreants. The terrorist bomb attack on August 25, 2003 near the Gateway of India killed nearly 50 people and left hundreds injured.
The monuments were damaged, the lives of many were shattered and many establishments were under threat. 26/11 affected the life of common man all over the country, especially in major urban cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai apart from Mumbai. All ways of life were affected. Travel and tourism was also not an exception. It was a major casualty.
26/11 in 2008 had happened just at the beginning of the India’s best tourist season in the decade. It was expected to cross the great landmark of 5 million foreign travelers in the year. 26/11 became the bottleneck for the miraculous growing of tourism industry in India. In fact the tourism sector was not sound enough to absorb such an impact as it was already affected by the economic meltdown. Inflow of foreign travelers was reduced and local tourists avoided big cities. Mumbai especially saw the significant reduction in the number of tourists in the first three months after 26/11. The major casualty is the tourism ministry’s projection of 10 million tourists by 2010. It is perceived that the target would be difficult to achieve!
However, the concentrated efforts of industry and the Government are now bringing fruits. They could mobilize voices of many world-wide agencies like National Geographic to endorse and assure safe tourism in India for the traveling community and promoted India as a must see destination. Thanks to the confidence building measures and the great support by the Government machinery, Indian tourism regained its lost glory by mid of 2009.
At the other end, Mumbai has seen the arrival of a new set of tourists. Travelers flock to this place to view the monuments like Taj hotel, Gateway of India, Cama hospital and Nariman house, which were under terror attacks. Local tourists and foreign travelers' inflows to Mumbai have been on increase on account of this new found ‘terror tourism’. Bullet marks on walls, windows and roofs, damaged regions and reinstated structures are all very inviting for the tourists visiting here. Tourist guides and agencies give elaborate descriptions on the events and showing various places under the siege. You can get details of the past terror and bomb attacks at this place from these guides.
The surge of travel and tourism industry in the country in 2009 is a pointer towards the great confidence the traveling populaces and vacation tourists in safe Indian Destinations. Statistics points to the fact that there was a dwindling of about 8% in the number of foreign tourists to India in 2009 comparing with the corresponding numbers in 2008. This 8% is pretty small considering the real facts about the economic recession and the fear spread due to the H1N1 flu. It just tells that the terror attacks or security threats has not much affected the tourism industry in India.
It is predicted that Mumbai is going to witness a surge in tourists as the economy regains and the business travels increase. You can go anywhere in India. You can be assured of extra secure tourist activities in the picturesque, inviting and breathtaking Indian hot spots.