New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) The outbreak of chikungunya-dengue in Delhi must be dealt with on a war-footing as the disease taking epidemic proportion is expected to result in a loss to the tourism and aviation industries, an Assocham assessment said on Thursday.
According to the industry body, Delhi registers about 35 per cent of India’s total foreign tourist influx as they use the national capital as a transit during their travel.
“With increasing cases of chikungunya-dengue and the kind of negative reaction on the tourists, the traffic is set to drop drastically, leaving a bruising impact on businesses such as hotels, airlines, taxi operators and restaurants,” Assocham said in a statement.
“Delhi being hit worst, the number of tourists visiting Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and other locations in the western state is coming down drastically with the state government itself cautioning tourists against the disease.”
The statement stated that in the winter season, roughly 2.5-3 lakh foreign tourists visit the Golden Triangle Circuit of Delhi-Agra-Jaipur, accounting for about 30 per cent of the total number of the inbound traffic in the country.
“According to official figures, the arrivals at the Delhi airport of the foreign tourists with destinations is about 30 per cent of monthly traffic of about eight lakhs and most of them are headed for the Golden Triangle,” said D.S. Rawat, Secretary General, Assocham.
The assessment cited that the inbound tourist operators are keeping a close watch on the situation in the middle of reports of the tenth death from the vector-borne disease.
“Many tour operators are now gearing up with precautionary steps for foreigners arriving in Delhi during the peak tourist season set to begin from October this year,” the statement said.
“Similarly, the US embassy in New Delhi also issued health advisory for their tourists visiting India, saying on their website that outbreaks of mosquito-borne viral diseases such as dengue and chikungunya occur in various parts of India each year.”
The industry body added that the country is targeting to attract one per cent of world tourists by 2020 and about two per cent by 2025, banking heavily on India’s strong tourism potential.