Leh (Ladakh) [India], May 26 (ANI): Tourism, which is the backbone of economic activity in Ladakh, has been severely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shopkeepers are also incurring losses in their business due to the lockdown.
Streets and markets in the town lie deserted amid lockdown. People who are directly associated with the tourism industry such as hotels, tour operators, commercial vehicles, guides, porters and others are finding it hard to cope with the situation.
"Our business has been adversely affected because of COVID-19 and tourism has been adversely affected. Earlier there used to be lots of tourists at this time of the year. Right now, you will not find any tourist here," Lobzang Chukee, a shopkeeper, told ANI.
"Ladakh completely depends on tourism. We have opened a few shops but we do not have any customers as people are not coming out of their houses and local transportation is not available. Currently, our situation is not good. Medicines and liquor industry is not affected much while those who are involved in travel and tourism business are facing daily hardships," another shop owner said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created havoc for the travel and tourism sector with as many as 40 per cent of companies facing the risk of a complete shutdown in the next three to six months. While another 35.7 per cent may go for a temporary shutdown, according to a recently-concluded survey by BOTT Travel Sentiment Tracker in partnership with seven national associations.
Its findings show that 81 per cent travel and tourism companies have lost their revenue up to 100 per cent while 15 per cent of the companies have witnessed it slide up to 75 per cent.
Ladakh has reported 52 COVID-19 cases so far, of which 43 are currently active cases, said Union Health Ministry. (ANI)