With the resumption of boating in the lakes of Sarovar Nagri here, the tourism industry in Nainital has begun to come back to life yet again after nearly four months of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
According to Vikram Singh Bhisht, Boat Operators Committee manager, the boating industry faced huge losses as the lockdown was implemented at the peak of the district's tourism season.
"Unfortunately, the lockdown extended throughout the months of May and June which is when we receive the highest number of tourists. We had to close down all tourist activities and boaters faced tremendous financial hardships. Many turned to sell fruits and local construction work to support their families," Bhisht told ANI.
He added, "Although Unlock 4 is now in place, we do not expect a huge footfall as people are still afraid of the virus. We hope to make a slight recovery in October."
Several guidelines are in place at tourist hub, including sanitisation of life jackets after every use. Tickets are given to passengers only after sanitisation and temperature checks.
As per Arvind Gaur, District Tourism Development officer, Unlock 4 guidelines require tourists to register on the smart city online portal before they can come as tourists to the state.
"There are two main changes in Unlock 4 that will affect the tourism industry here. First is that earlier, only those with a negative RT-PCR test were allowed but now a TrueNet report will also do. Secondly, the ceiling of 2000 tourists per day has been removed. Those wanting to come here have to register online on the smart city portal," he said.
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