After almost six months of closure, the Andaman and Nicobar islands are finally opening up for tourism. The stakeholders of the tourism industry of Andaman are currently preparing for the upcoming ‘Durga Puja’ festival.
The tourism activity and the potential to generate revenue during the upcoming festivals will bring a much-needed boost to Andaman tourism. This festive season will most probably bring relief to all those people whose livelihood is dependent on tourism activities.
Presently, the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands have reported only 173 active COVID-19 cases. Compared to the rest of the country the islands have been relatively safe from the pandemic.
The data shows that there are around 35,000 families that have been directly affected due to the closure of tourism activities. This has been detrimental to the local economy as well as for the livelihood of the people. The government has considered opening up the islands for tourism activities and people will be allowed to visit. The key destinations will be opened in a phased manner.
The hotel and small business owners of Andaman are hopeful for the upcoming festival of Durga Puja and expect to receive more and more bookings during this time.
Mostly the tourists are expected to visit from the state of West Bengal as they are most likely to visit the tropical destinations during the Durga Puja holidays. The festivities last for 5 days and begin from 22nd October this year.
The government has allowed the opening of all the beaches, museums, water sports, snorkeling and many other key destinations for the tourists to enjoy. Other activities such as Scuba Diving, Parasailing, and Sea Walk will be opened in the upcoming phases.
Department of Tourism has announced Safety protocols and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for hotel owners and other tourism operators. All these protocols are expected to be followed by everyone.