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New Travel Restrictions on COVID-19 Leave India’s Tourism Reeling

Foreign tourist arrivals have fallen by 67% from January to March. Domestic travels have also fallen by about 40%.

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All within 24 hours, India barred the entry of foreigners for a little more than a month, it put on hold the visa-free facility granted to Overseas Citizen of India cardholders, it closed its border with neighbouring Myanmar and advised its citizens to avoid non-essential travel.

And all this came just as the WHO officially declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

Besides tightening travel restrictions, India has put in place mandatory screening for all travellers and compulsory 14-day quarantines if you’re from the worst hit countries, including Iran, Italy, China, South Korea, among others.

As many sectors grapple with the cascading effect of coronavirus, there's one sector that's hit in the most obvious manner – tourism, and as a result, aviation and hospitality sectors.

Foreign tourist arrivals have fallen by 67 percent from January to March. Domestic travels have also fallen by about 40 percent.

Remember, India’s tourism industry contributes nearly 10% of our GDP, and this chunk will take a hit.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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