State BJP Team Apprises MOS Tourism About the Ground Situation of Andaman Tourism

Port Blair, Oct. 16: The team of State BJP members led by Shri. Ajoy Bairgi, State President, Bharatiya Janata Party along with Shri. M Vinod, State Vice President, Shri. Prakash Adhikari, State Vice President and Shri. Uday Shankar Singh, State Media Convenor today met Mananiya Prahlad Singh Patel Ji, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India at his Residence in New Delhi.

The Team is on an official tour to New Delhi and will be meeting several Union and State Ministers during their visit to apprise them of the issues being faced by the islanders because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the meeting with Prahlad Singh Patel, the State Vice President, M Vinod apprised the Minister of the problems being faced by the stakeholders of the tourism industry in the Islands.

A written representation was also submitted to the Minister, which highlighted the problems of the stakeholders of the tourism industry in the Islands. The representation said that Tourism Industry is the largest industry in the Islands and it provides employment to the maximum number of Individuals in the Islands. Since the onset of the COVID-19 each and every business related to tourism whether big or small has come to a complete halt. Several businesses related to tourism has also shut their operations permanently and thousands of individuals are now unemployed. The financial implications because of the closure of the tourism industry is huge and is only aggravating with time.

It was also brought to the notice of the Minister that on 27th September 2020 on the occasion of ‘World Tourism Day’, Andaman Tourism was declared open for the South Andaman District but several key services, which are vital for Andaman Tourism remains to be restricted on the ground. There have been no tourists visiting the Islands even after tourism was declared open. Furthermore, the stakeholders do not expect any tourists during this festival season of Dusshera, which otherwise is a peak season for Andaman & Nicobar Tourism.

Other destinations in the country on the contrary like Goa, Dehradun and Mussoorie are registering strong revival with several thousand people visiting. Andaman & Nicobar is lagging behind because of lack of clarity in the guidelines and continued restrictions.

The team requested Prahlad Singh Patel to open up Andaman Tourism completely and also open the following services, which are vital for revival of Tourism Industry:

  1. Inter-Island ferry between Swaraj Dweep and Shaheed Dweep by Govt. and Private players.
  2. Adventure Sports Activities.
  3. Removal of capping of 2 flights per day to Port Blair and more flights be encouraged from major cities.
  4. Complete and absolute support from the UT Administration be extended to the stakeholders for regulatory, monetary and statutory relaxations and Waive Offs to help businesses restart.

The Minister heard the issues patiently and ensured that necessary action will be taken soon to revive Andaman and Nicobar Tourism completely.