After the Uttarakhand government relaxed the lockdown restrictions and allowed tourism activities to resume, many tourism businesses started booking the tourists for short vacations and other tour packages.
As a result, River Rafting started allowing tourists to engage in this adventure sport. The official date of opening the River Rafting businesses was yesterday (26th September 2020). Since yesterday there were around 400 tourists who enrolled for the River Rafting trip. These tourists were mostly from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana.
Rishikesh being the most popular destination for the River Rafting, there has been a tremendous rise in the popularity of the sport among Indians. The swelling rapids of the river Ganga have attracted many entrepreneurs who started their own River Rafting business in Rishikesh.
The government of Uttarakhand has imposed strict safety guidelines that are expected to be followed by all tourists and tour operators as well. The River Rafting operators are expected to use Thermal scanners to detect any COVID-19 symptoms. Also, the proper distribution of the sanitizers to the staff has been done. This is to help sanitize the hands of the people visiting the tour operator’s facilities.
According to the Rafting operators, the usual number of tourists per day was 1,000. However, even to receive 400 people a day would be appreciated in this time of the pandemic. Also, the maximum number of people riding in the raft has been reduced to 4 instead of 8 in the past. Masks have been made mandatory for all travelers.
Also, the hoteliers in the state of Uttarakhand are offering discounts on the hotel rooms to promote tourism. Incentive coupons worth Rs. 1000 or 25% discounts on hotel rooms are being given to the tourists to encourage tourism in the state,
Many tourists have shown their sense of well-being and happiness after the River Rafting trip. For many, the 6 month lockdown period has made people more willing to go on short vacations to enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountains. With proper safety protocols in place, the number of people traveling to Uttarakhand will surely increase in the coming weeks. However, slow growth is indicated by many experts. Tourism has changed as per many tourism experts. The focus would now be more on the safety and hygiene of the premises and facilities.