Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) [India], September 20 (ANI): Even though the state government has opened the borders for tourists in Himachal Pradesh and allowed all types of activities including adventure sports like paragliding, but the tourism industry in the hill state is still facing adversity amid COVID-19 pandemic.
The people involved in the tourism industry here in McLeod Ganj said that tourists are not in favour of coming out of their homes or travel to places due to the scare of COVID-19. Hoteliers, taxi travellers or people related to adventure sports activities have said that they have become jobless.
"The State government allowed inter-state movement but we do not have tourists. People are still scared to travel due to COVID-19. Many people in the area have become jobless. The government has opened everything but there are no activities in Mcleodganj or nearby areas these days. Only local people are visiting here, "Amit Mishra, a hotelier told ANI.
"Many hoteliers are under financial liabilities. Shopkeepers, taxi operators and staff of hotels are almost jobless. The government should give a relief package for the tourism industry," he added.
Pradeep Kumar, a paraglider pilot said, "paragliding has been allowed from September 16, so far no clients came here. We have taken all precautionary measures. The government has allowed inter-state movement but tourists are scared to come here. We have zero income from the last six months. All the staff is jobless here."
Deputy director of the tourism department in Dharamshala, Sunaina Sharma said that more than 200 paragliding pilots are registered with the department.
"The activities like paragliding are allowed from September 16 with specific safety guidelines for tourists and pilots as well. More than 200 paragliding pilots are registered with us. Borders are open now and we are providing online training to the hoteliers and staff members. People are becoming more responsible now. We are hopeful to have sufficient numbers of tourists in the days to come," She said.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on September said that the tourism industry in the state has suffered a loss of around Rs 4,000 crores due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (ANI)