The Financial Express

Violent protests affect Assam's tourism industry

| Updated: December 24, 2019 12:49:04

Lankabangla and Fianancial Express Lankabangla and Fianancial Express
-Reuters file photo -Reuters file photo

The tourism industry in India's northeastern state Assam is taking a hit right now as violent anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests by various oraganisations against the controversial act continue.

According to the state's tourism department, The industry has been hit by the protests over CAA with many prospective domestic and foreign tourists had cancelled the bookings to visit Assam and other parts of the North Eastern region, reports India Today.

Assam Tourism Development Corporation Chairman Jayanta Malla Baruah said that the state tourism sector has been affected following the recent violent protests.

"December month is the main tourism season of the state tourism sector and all the stakeholders involved in the tourism sector are always eagerly looking forward to this season. The main tourism season of the state starts from the month of November and continues till the month of January. A total of 4,504 foreign tourists had visited Assam during the month of December last year and around 425,000 domestic tourists had visited the state during the period," Jayanta Malla Baruah said.

Jayanta Malla said, "If this type of situation arises then it has definitely affected our tourism sector and our revenue collection also. In 2018, the state tourism department had collected Rs 12.00-15.00 billion revenue and around 30 per cent collected alone in the month of December. In this month we had collected around Rs 3.00-4.00 billion."

He further said that if this type of situation continues then it will affect the next year also because this message has gone out that Assam is not safe.

"We have given emergency phone numbers and tried to extend our supports to the people who faced problems. People were stranded at many places and they were rescued. We are trying our best that they do not face any difficulty," Jayanta Malla Baruah said.

He added, "Our government and stakeholders concerned are trying to allay all the fears of the visitors."

On the other hand, Greater Guwahati Tour Operator Drivers Association president Ratul Das said that the tour operators alone in Guwahati had faced a loss of Rs 5 crore in last seven days during the violent protests.

"Around 2,000 small cars associated with the tour operators are in Guwahati alone and all vehicular movements were totally halted in the past seven days. More than 5,000-6,000 families are directly or indirectly involved with the tourism sector and they have faced lot of problems," Ratul Das said.

The tour operators of Assam will write to the Ministry of Tourism urging the ministry to assure the people of the country and abroad that Assam is safe for travel.


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