Amritsar, May 8
The second blast on Heritage Street near the Golden Temple in the city on Monday morning has caused panic among hoteliers, travel and tour operators besides those who earn their livelihood through tourism. Though it is an off season, players in the hospitality industry fear that it may cast a shadow on the peak tourist season, commencing with summer vacation.
Most of the room bookings are made online. There are no pre-payments involved and it is easy for the tourists to call off their pre-fixed tour or skip Amritsar. The state’s past history of terrorism has alsobeen affecting people residing out of Punjab.
Gurinder Singh Johal, who has been taking tourists on a guided tour for nearly two decades, said it was not a positive development from the tourism point of view. Terror and tourism can not go together, he said.
The city’s image of a spiritual centre has been tarnished, he said, adding that he has been receiving messages of ‘is everything good’ and ‘is all well’ from his previous and prospective customers.
Earlier, the siege of a police station in Ajnala by Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh and his supporters had sullied the image of the city and tourists were scared to visit here. A family from Frankfurt asked him prior to catching a flight to India, “Will you take responsibility for our well-being.”
Vikram Singh Makhni, who runs a hotel with a heritage look and a centre of handicraft items, said his hotel received some calls for cancellations today. He anticipated that in case the police investigation found the material used in the explosion lethal, it could have a negative impact on the peak tourist season in June. Since the holy city falls in the mountainous tourism circuit, tourists travelling to the northern states may well bypass the holy city.
Taxi operators fear that the impact of the blast will be immense on their vocation. A large number of them have five to 18 cars, many of them financed and hypothecated to banks. Ranjit Singh, who owns a couple of taxis, said a major part of the income went to foot the EMIs. He said the government must find out those behind the mischievous act besides plugging loopholes in the system to prevent a repeat sof such incidents in future.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
Premises connected to news portal’s journalists raided; 46 s...
Prime Minister accuses BRS dispensation of ‘looting’ funds m...
57% of loans AAP govt raised used on repaying interest on earlier loans, Bhagwant Mann tells governor
This is the gist of the letter sent by CM to Banwarilal Puro...
Also said that it's important for Canada to have diplomats o...
Petitioner contended that the nature of information sought i...