Businesses hit by Covid-19 lockdown, Darjeeling wants tourists be allowed

Businesses hit by Covid-19 lockdown, Darjeeling wants tourists be allowed
With business down to zero due to the Covid-19 lockdown, stakeholders in Darjeeling’s hotel and tourism business want the administration to allow movement of tourists from next month.

They want the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (GTA) to decide a date for reopening the tourism sector, which is the principal employer for the local people.

The GTA earlier announced that tourists would be allowed to enter Darjeeling from July 1 but withdrew the decision and extended the lockdown till July 31 due to the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases.

The Darjeeling Hotel Owners’ Association, Himalayan Transport Coordination Committee and Darjeeling Home Stay Owners’ Association on Sunday held a meeting with other stakeholders and adopted a proposal to be submitted to the GTA.


The GTA is likely to take a call soon but tourists would be allowed in a phased manner, insiders aware of the developments said.

Samrat Sanyal, general secretary, Himalayan Hospitality and Tourism Development Network, said, “There should be a proper roadmap for the tourism industry. Local communities need to be taken into confidence and Covid-19 protocols have to be followed before tourists are allowed.”

Sandipan Ghosh, secretary, Eastern Himalaya Travel and Tour Operators Association, said, “It’s time to let tourists come to Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong in phases.”

 

Both Sanyal and Ghosh said that people associated with the industry can no longer bear the loss in business.

Four people who used to drive or own cars used for ferrying tourists have died by suicide.

Suraj Sharma, assistant director, GTA tourism, said “We will soon hold a meeting and take a decision.”

 

Sharma, however, did not predict any date for relaxing the lockdown.

 https://www.hindustantimes.com
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With business down to zero due to the Covid-19 lockdown, stakeholders in Darjeeling’s hotel and tourism business want the administration to allow move

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