- Title: India's tourist industry sees crisis looming from coronavirus visa ban
- Date: 13th March 2020
- Summary: AGRA, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA (MARCH 13, 2020) (ANI - NO USE INDIA) ICONIC MONUMENT OF TAJ MAHAL PEOPLE AT TAJ MAHAL PEOPLE (SOME WEARING MASKS) OUTSIDE TAJ MAHAL TOURISTS, SOME WEARING MASKS AND COVERING FACES, OUTSIDE TAJ MAHAL PEOPLE OUTSIDE TAJ MAHAL VARIOUS OF LARGELY DESERTED TICKET COUNTER PEOPLE OUTSIDE TAJ MAHAL, WEARING MASKS LARGELY DESERTED ENTRY AREA OF TAJ MAHAL (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) PRESIDENT, HOTEL AND RESTAURANT OWNERS ASSOCIATION OF AGRA, RAMESH WADHWA, SAYING: "(If this continues for another month) the number of foreign tourists in India will become nil and their share in Agra tourism industry would be even lesser, close to zero. In the coming days, it will be the biggest blow in the history of tourism industry. It will take us years to recover from these losses." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE TAJ MAHAL WEARING MASKS (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) TOUR GUIDE AT TAJ MAHAL, AMIT KUMAR, SAYING: "There used to be huge queues of tourists outside the ticket windows to buy tickets and there used to a shortage of (tour) guides because of the huge crowd of tourists at the gate. As compared to that, today, I have not lead any visit to Taj Mahal in the last three days and a lot of my colleagues have also not gotten any business in the last two days." NEW DELHI, INDIA (MARCH 13, 2020) (ANI - NO USE INDIA) HOTELS IN PAHARGANJ AREA, POPULAR AMONG INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS VARIOUS OF SIGNBOARDS OUTSIDE HOTELS DESERTED HOTEL RECEPTION AREA IN A HOTEL VARIOUS OF HOTEL OWNER, RAVINDER AT RECEPTION WITH RECEPTIONIST DESERTED HOTEL RECEPTION AREA (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) HOTEL OWNER, RAVINDER, SAYING: "International tourists used to come but it's over now. There are almost no international tourists here. It is getting difficult even to get by and arrange for staff salaries. If the situation continues, I can say that I might have to shut down the hotel for good." EMPTY RECEPTION AREA VARIOUS OF DESERTED RESTAURANT VARIOUS OF HOTEL MANAGER, AJIT SINGH SISODIYA SEATED WITH RECEPTIONIST WEARING MASK RECEPTIONIST WEARING MASK LOOKING ON (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) HOTEL MANAGER, AJIT SINGH SISODIYA, SAYING: "There has been over 90 percent loss in business because of coronavirus. For the past one week, we cannot understand what to do. We are not able to give salaries to our workers. There are no customers in our hotel. There are no international clients at all in the hotel and even domestic clients are not coming." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE HOTELS MAN SITTING OUTSIDE HOTEL
- Keywords: Agra China Coronavirus Covid-19 India Italy New Delhi Paharganj Taj Mahal pandemic tourism
- Reuters ID: LVA001C4VWLLB
- Location: NEW DELHI/AGRA UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA
- City: NEW DELHI/AGRA UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA
- Country: India
- Duration: 00:04:09
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: Indian hotels and travel operators said their industry would be hurt by the government's decision not to issue visas for visitors, as the country reported its first death from coronavirus.
A 76-year-old man became the first person to die from coronavirus in the country, a state health minister said on Thursday (March 12).
With 74 confirmed cases of the virus and a single death, India, a country of 1.3 billion people, has so far fared better than elsewhere in Asia, Europe and North America.
But experts say India's already overstretched medical system would struggle to deal with a major rise in serious cases.
President, Hotel and Restaurant Owners Association of Agra, Ramesh Wadhwa said, "In the coming days, it will be the biggest blow in the history of tourism industry."
"It will take us years to recover from these losses," Wadhwa added.
New Delhi said on Wednesday (March 11) it would cancel almost all visas until April 15, a move that could damage an industry that caters to about 10 million foreign tourists a year.
The situation is not faring particularly well in the Indian capital either, with hotel owners reporting up to 90 percent loss in business.
Hotels and restaurants were seen deserted and there was scarcely any movement in Paharganj area, which is otherwise beaming with foreign tourists.
The hotel officials said that they aren't even able to maintain the salary of employees and if the trend continued for another month, they might be forced to shut down the hotels for good.
Average hotel occupancy in India in 2019 was around two thirds.
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