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Travel Advisories against India, Affects Tourism

by Madhav Srinivasan 5 year, 6 months ago

Recent terror threats and attacks in India have raised a huge concern for tourists and their safety. Here’s a peek view of what the situation is and how bad it has affected the tourism sector.

On Tuesday, the Indian Government gave a tough reaction against the five countries ‑ New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia ‑ who had issued an advisory for their citizens asking them not to travel to India during the holiday season on account of terror threats. 

The security of various tourist locations in India has been increased fourfold in recent past as the reports of possible militant attacks have been doing rounds within the media circuit. It is believed that the Indian Government's reaction came in a bit too late as the number trail has been already hitting a low in many of the tourism spots in terms of bookings and hotel reservations.


If sources are to be believed, the sense of negation that has come in from the governments of these five countries seems to have affected the inbound tourism. A small talk with the managing director of Le Passage to India, Arjun Sharma, reveals that the possibilities of acquiring any fresh bookings from these five countries has become almost negligible but thankfully there has been no cancellations for the bookings already made.

Arjun was also quoted as saying that ‘Our season starts post-Diwali and we hope things get sorted out at the start of the season. If the situation continues as it is, new bookings will take a huge hit’.


Alarming Reports of Possible Terrorist Attacks in India

On October 18 2011, the local consulates of New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia issued a travel advisory that held a statement of pure caution for their citizens, alarming them against the possible terror strikes during the festival season in India. The consulates were expected to continue this advisory until January 2012.


The US Consulate released a statement regarding this issue, which read ‘The Department of State reminds US citizens of the continued possibility of terrorist attacks throughout India and urges citizens to pay particular attention to their personal security during the Indian holiday season, which includes Hindu, Islamic, and other religious and secular holidays between October and January’.


Dispelling the Fears

However, the Indian set of ministers seems to a have a different view on this issue. According to the Tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahay, the advisory is nothing more than scaremongering, which will hit the tourism industry hard during the peak of overseas business season. In a statement to a media agency, Mr. Sahay said ‘I have taken it up with the External Affairs Ministry and asked them to persuade these countries to withdraw the travel advisories immediately’.


The facts that the tourism ministry data reveals add to the already built-up tension levels. According to the recorded data, of all the tourists that visit India every year, 4.3% come from Canada, 13.5% hail from Britain, 16% from the US, and 4.9% come from Australia. If the advisories are not lifted soon, then the Indian tourism industry might face its darkest days ahead. 


Mr. S.M. Krishna, External Affairs Minister, India, is in talks with his counterparts in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. He has been attending the CHOGAM Foreign Ministers' meeting and has been discussing this issue in detail on the sidelines. 


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