Tourism industry in Meghalaya, Assam hit by anti-CAA stir
The tourism industry in Assam and Meghalaya has been adversely affected by protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), tour operators said.
An official of the Assam tourism department said that the state’s losses could go up to Rs 400 crore for December alone.
The protests resulted in cancellations of bookings by tourists.
The winter months of December and January are the busiest for the tourism industry in both states, with many domestic and foreign tourists arriving to visit popular places such as Kaziranga National Park, Shillong and Cherrapunji.
“A total of 4,504 foreign tourists and around 425,000 domestic tourists had visited Assam in December last year. In 2018, the tourism department had collected Rs 1,200- Rs1,500 crore revenue and 30% of it was collected in December alone,” said Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) chairman Jayanta Malla Baruah.
He said “the losses for December could be over Rs 400 crores for the tourism department alone”.
In view of the protests, countries such as US, the UK, Israel, Canada and Singapore issued travel advisories to their citizens to “exercise caution” or avoid travel to northeastern states.
Hotels near Kaziranga National Park, and Meghalaya’s capital Shillong witnessed cancellations of bookings. “We were looking forward to a good season. But most calls since the past two weeks have been of cancellations by worried tourists,” said Bibek Patowary, a travel agency owner in Guwahati.