Coronavirus: 80% bookings in Rajasthan hotels cancelled

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Jaipur, March 12 (IANS) Tourism has been hit hard in Rajasthan after the outbreak of coronavirus with around 80 per cent of bookings being cancelled in the state till Wednesday, said Hotel association of Rajasthan president Gajendra Luniwal.

Speaking to IANS, he said, "This 80 per cent cancellation includes both groups travellers and frequent individual travellers who had made bookings in different hotels of the state. A huge booking was seen in around 1500 hotels in Jaipur which include guest houses, five-star hotels and other three-star hotels."

Anand Tripathi, joint secretary, department of tourism, said, "It's not only the foreign tourists who are getting their bookings cancelled. Even around 60-70 per cent of domestic tourists have also cancelled their bookings. The Government of India has requested one and all to avoid gathering in crowded places and people have abided by this request," he said, adding that no concrete data as such has been worked upon to find out the exact number of cancellations.

Two Italians have tested positive of coronavirus and an Indian with travel history to Dubai also tested positive.

Sanjay Kaushik, a tour operator in Rajasthan, said, "Around 50-60 per cent of bookings have been cancelled due to corona fear. Initially, the cancellation rate was slow but it increased fast in last few days. Italians made a good market here, but they cancelled their bookings. Tourists from Iran, Germany and other countries also cancelled their bookings. More than 500 guests were expected from Italy and now we are standing at zero level."

Kaushik further said that it's more like panic buttons being pressed for no reason.

"Meanwhile, this brings another positive side, government should promote travel within the country as it will boost domestic tourism. This is because the impact on inbound foreign tourists shall continue for some time and hence more focus should be on promoting domestic tourism," he added.

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