October 25th, 2011
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Indian tourism jittery, 5 countries cautioned citizens

touristsNew Delhi: Five countries have issued advisories against travel to India during the Festival season. US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have advised its citizens to refrain from traveling to India during the festive season as terror threat is at its heights during this period.

The Indian government is seemingly upset with the news for it could hamper tourism which is generally at its peak during festival season. Terrorism threats is spreading anxiety among tourists. “I have taken up this with the external affairs ministry and asked it to persuade these countries to withdraw the travel advisories immediately,” Union tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahay said.

“This is nothing but scaremongering. Leave aside other parts of India, 100% booking is being reported from Jammu & Kashmir. If this isn’t a sign of normalcy, what is?”, he added.

The tourism industry is worried as adverse advisories tend to hike travel insurance as the risk factor goes up. So, instead of coming to India, many tourists may opt for other destinations like Thailand n Sri Lanka, Singapore, China and the like. A delegation of top hoteliers, travel agents and restaurant owners met Sahay to discuss their woes.  Apart from taking up the matter with the foreign secretary, the minister also raised the issue in France at a meeting of tourism ministers of G-20 countries on Monday, while expressing his concern at the “barriers” that are likely to obstruct growth of tourism in India.



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