Port Blair, Sept. 3: Unlock 4 has been implemented nationwide and has led to opening up of all States and UTs economies. In order to support tourism, states like Goa have opened borders and granted leeway for visitors. Andaman Islands has also been opened up with Unlock 4 but with the exception of tourism, which is unequivocally the worst hit industry in this pandemic.

In a letter to the Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and the Chief Secretary of ANI Administration, the President, Andaman Association of Tour Operators, M Vinod has requested to kick start tourism in the islands, which is the mainstay of Andaman economy:

The AATO has put forth the following suggestions to revive the dead tourism of Andaman Islands:  

  1. A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) be formulated in consultation with stakeholders for visiting tourists.
  2. All tourism spots, beaches, monuments, islands, attractions etc. be opened up for sightseeing of the tourists.
  3. All water sports, adventure sports activities be opened up for recreational indulgence of the tourists.
  4. For the larger interest of reviving tourism which contributes to the majority in the local economy, all permits and licenses of tourism establishments (such as vehicle permits, water sports permits etc.) be auto renewed to ensure availability of tourist facilities and attractions.
  5. All tourism establishments may be given relaxations on their statutory and regulatory compliances to thrust revival. Any pending dues (such as rents, port charges, property tax etc.) be not mandated for permit renewals at this juncture.
  6. A strategic recovery road map be chalked out in consultation with stakeholders for reopening of tourism which encompasses all segments of the industry.