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Terror makes no dent on tourism

FLOW OF international and domestic tourists to this ancient city has continued unabated, the poor infrastructure notwithstanding. The serial bomb blast in Varanasi on March 7 and the recent incident in Mumbai have not affected the tourist inflow at all.
None | By Bharat Kumar, Varanasi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 26, 2006 12:22 AM IST

FLOW OF international and domestic tourists to this ancient city has continued unabated, the poor infrastructure notwithstanding. The serial bomb blast in Varanasi on March 7 and the recent incident in Mumbai have not affected the tourist inflow at all.

Peak season is still a fortnight away but groups of foreigners have started checking into different luxury hotels of the city and no trip has been reported cancelled.

In the last few days, several foreign tourist groups from Spain, America, Netherlands, Holland, Japan and Mexico checked in at hotel Hindustan International in which rooms have been booked by travel agencies in New Delhi.

There is persistent rise in the number of foreign and domestic tourists arriving for the last five years. According to data provided by the State Tourism Department, the breakup of foreign tourists, who arrived in the city from year 2002 till May 2006 is as follows: 2,45,938 in 2002; 2,80,889 in 2003; 3,40,741 in 2004; 3,45,718 in 2005 and 1,53,420 till May 2006. General manager of Hotel Hindustan International (HHI), Jitesh Patta said, terrorism was a global phenomenon now and it had no negative impact on the movement of tourists.

In context of initiatives to boost tourism here, he stressed the need for adequate infrastructure with government support on the lines of Goa and Kerala.

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