The Indian tourism industry is suffering from the negative impact of the wave of protests against the new citizenship law of the Government.
In the past month, protests have been taking place in many cities, prompting several countries to issue warnings of citizens intending to travel to India.
Currently, at least 7 countries and territories have issued travel warnings to India after media reported at least 25 people were killed in clashes between police and protesters. At the same time, actions against the new law continue to be complicated.
Officials estimate that over 200,000 domestic and international tourists have canceled or delayed visits to the Taj Mahal, one of India’s most famous tourist destinations in the past two weeks.
Dinesh Kumar, a police inspector working at a tourist police station near the Taj Mahal temple in Uttar Pradesh state, said visitor numbers had dropped by 60% in December 2019.
The police inspector added that Indian and foreign tourists called the police operating rooms to check on security. Although the police guarantee that they will be protected, many still decide to stay away.
Even a group of European tourists traveling to India said they were planning to shorten the 20-day trip. From New Delhi, Dave Millikin, a retired banker living on the outskirts of London, told Reuters news agency or they were all retired people, so the travel needs to be slow and relaxing.
The Taj Mahal is located in Agra and attracts more than 6.5 million tourists each year, bringing India nearly $ 14 million in revenue from entrance fees. Here, a foreigner will pay 1,100 rupees (about US $ 15) to buy an entrance ticket, while citizens from neighboring countries will receive a discount.
The cancellation of last-minute trips during the festive season has undermined business confidence. In particular, India’s economic growth is slowing down and falling to only 4.5%, the lowest level in more than 6 years.
In addition, in an effort to curb violence and instability, the government suspended mobile internet services in Agra. The blockage of the Internet has led to a 50-60% reduction in tours and visitors to Agra.
The United States, Britain, Russia, Israel, Singapore, Canada and the territory of Taiwan (China) have issued travel advisories, requiring citizens not to visit or be cautious when visiting areas affected by protests in India.