Low footfall of foreigners worries tourism circle!

– Rush of domestic tourists at five ticketed monuments in the district, in four months of the current financial year, is also not satisfactory.

Rafique Azizo

Aurangabad, Aug 30:

It was a history till a few years ago, that annually an average of a lakh foreign tourists, would use to visit the five ticketed monuments in the district. The pandemic halted the world and the tourism industry suffered a huge loss. After a gap of two years, the tourism industry hoped for good days through the restoration of normalcy. However, poor or low footfall of foreigners in the last four months (from April to July 2022) has started worrying the tourism circle. They are anxious to know about the possibility of improvement in the arrivals of foreign tourists, this year. Meanwhile, the situation also pushes us to think about whether the union Government and State Government are taking appropriate measures at various levels in the country and abroad to attract the rush of foreigners. Are they moving in the right direction?

According to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI, Aurangabad Circle) sources, “ A total of 2,526 foreigners visited the five ticketed monuments in the district from April to July 2022. It includes 657 (including 50 from BIMSTEC countries) foreign visitors at world heritage Ajanta caves; 1010 at world heritage Ellora Caves; 581 at Bibi ka Maqbara; 229 at Daulatabad Fort and 49 at Aurangabad Caves.”

“Besides, a total of 9.06 lakh domestic tourists visited during the above four months. Of which, a major rush was recorded at Ellora Caves (3.69 lakh), Bibi ka Maqbara (3.29 lakh) and Daulatabad Fort (1.18 lakh), separately from Ajanta Caves (52,451) and Aurangabad Caves (36,821).

The assistant director and in charge of India Tourism (Aurangabad), Bhavana Shinde said,” The government is taking all measures at its place. The arrival of foreign tourists will be noticeable from October. Hence it would be too early to throw more light on the issue.”

Elaborates Aurangabad Tourism Development Foundation (ATDF) president Jaswant Singh said, “It is true that the situation has not yet restored normalcy. The government offices concerned should take measures to restore the confidence of tourists and visitors. There is a need for an aggressive drive to convince foreign tourists that they will be safe and secure in India and its different states. The Government of India (GoI) has reintroduced Visa-on-Arrival. However, the cost of flights to India is high. Hence, it is noticed that foreign tourists are hesitating to go on a long excursion tour and instead, they are rushing to Europe.”

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