Tourism in Sikkim hit by Coronavirus scare


GUWAHATI: The Himalayan state of Sikkim that thrives on tourism has been badly hit by the Coronavirus disease scare. Hotels and tour operators in Sikkim are worried as there have been cancellations all over. Though not a single case has been reported from Sikkim, the state government is not taking any chances and has restricted the flow of tourists from outside India.

Meanwhile, screening for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Rangpo check post has been intensified and the state government has issued an advisory to not allow anyone without valid travel documents to enter Sikkim.

“The Government of Sikkim has issued a notification saying that the foreigners are barred to enter Sikkim. In fact they are not giving any Inner Line Permit to foreigners including that of Bhutan. So the foreign market is going to have a very big impact on the stakeholders. A lot many people are facing problems because of cancellations. We have started notifying our clients,” said a Hotel owner in Gangtok.

“International tourism from Gangtok for the Sikkimese people has been totally cancelled. All the departures have been cancelled. Even domestic tourist footfall has gone down compared to last year. The online bookings which we received for the summer holidays are totally down. People are asking curious questions like, whether Coronavirus will survive till summer season. I would like to say one more thing that Sikkim is not affected by Coronavirus till now. We don’t have any cases of Coronavirus in Sikkim,” said a tour operator in Gangtok.