With recent relaxations in COVID-19 restrictions, tourists have started crowding holiday destinations in Himachal Pradesh. Since June, the state has witnessed footfalls of around 6 to 7 lakh tourists in light of decreasing COVID-19 cases. As a result, the state is witnessing massive traffic jams on national highways. Also, people were seen roaming around without masks at several tourist hotspots.
Himachal Pradesh witnesses massive tourist footfalls every year, especially during the summer season. Recently, due to COVID-19 restrictions, state borders were closed and people were not allowed to travel, which led to a dip in the number of tourists in the state. Recently, the state has opened its doors for tourists. Since then, a large number of people are thronging at popular tourist spots. All hotels and guest houses are full. In less than a month starting from June, there has been traffic of around 6-7 lakh tourists in the Himalayan state
Himachal Pradesh | Tourists throng in Shimla as heatwave hits Delhi, north India— ANI (@ANI) July 5, 2021
"As there are reports that 3rd wave of COVID19 will come, so we'd decided to use this no lockdown period," says Nishant, a tourist from Delhi pic.twitter.com/YWAA4IP7cQ
In such a situation, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Department Director, Amit Kashyap has assured about following all the required COVID-19 protocols. He said, "After the government has eased the COVID restrictions, the tourist inflow has picked up. Generally, we receive over 1.3 crore tourists but the COVID-19 pandemic since last year hit the tourism business. Last year, we received only 32 lakh tourists including foreigners. This year till May 31, we received only 13 lakh tourists. But now in June after the restrictions have been relaxed, we have received 6 to 7 lakh tourists within this period."
Himachal Pradesh has recently witnessed a fall in COVID-19 cases after a steady lockdown down in the state. However, when the country is under the threat of a third wave of coronavirus, the crowd can make things worse leading to rising in COVID-19 cases. Himachal Pradesh which is heavily dependent on tourism has now withdrawn the condition of RT-PCR reports and e-COVID passes making it easier for people to arrive in the state. The tourism sector in Himachal Pradesh provides around 7% of the state's GDP. As per official data, the state generates an economy of around 11,000 crores through tourism.