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After a gap of 20 months, India opens up to foreign tourists from today

Tourism boost

Beginning today, India reopened its doors to foreign tourists who are fully vaccinated after a gap of about 20 months.

Tourists coming in from other countries will be allowed quarantine-free stay in the country. However the government has mandated such tourists to monitor their health for 14 days after arrival.

The ministry of tourism even tweeted photographs of the first group of overseas tourists that arrived in India.

Meanwhile, several executives engaged with tour and travel companies said that tourists hotspots are now getting crowded. “Hotels have started bookings..domestic tourism has also witnessed a huge surge after the Covid 19 restrictions eased and the number in fresh cases started dropping,” an executive with Make My Trip said.

Also read: Indians can now plan a New Year binge Down Under as Australia approves Covaxin jabs

About 32 million people – 8 per cent of the total employment–are directly engaged in the sector. Another 70 million are indirectly associated with tourism. However, this sector was one of the worst impacted owing to the Covid 19 pandemic. About 10 million people have either lost their jobs or had to go on leave without pay since last year.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) data revealed that the tourism sector accounted for 6.8 per cent of India’s GDP in 2019.

In 2019, India earned $ 3.1 billion in foreign exchange from the period January to December and received more than 10 million tourists.