GUWAHATI: The tourism sector has been badly hit in Assam and the Northeast. The ongoing protests and the recent unrest have resulted in inbound bookings getting cancelled at the last minute. According to sources, the total loss has been projected to around Rs. 400 crore.
The tourism season for Assam and the Northeast starts in November and touches its peak in December and January. This year, due to uncertainty, bookings have been cancelled for this sector.
Assam Tourism Chairman, Jayanta Malla Baruah has stated that in 2018, from November to January, Assam welcomed 4504 foreign tourists and 4.25 lakh domestic tourists. The total revenue earned during the period was around Rs. 1500 crore and 30 per cent of this was earned in the month of December. This year, the revenue has come down drastically and the impact would be felt in the coming year as well, said Baruah.
According to sources in the Assam Tourism, around Rs. 400 crore has been lost since December first week and this might increase in coming days. All tourism businesses centred around Kaziranga National Park and other parks have been badly hit as advance bookings have been cancelled or postponed. A lot of package tours have been cancelled, too, according to a source in the tourism department.
Tour operators in Guwahati are also facing the brunt of cancellations. Greater Guwahati Tour Operators Drivers’ Association has stated that in the past seven days they have incurred a loss of around Rs. 7 crore. Almost 2000 vehicles used for transporting tourists have been lying unused in the parking area. This has impacted the livelihood of around 6000 families directly or indirectly.