As per an estimate, 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the tour packages, bookings in various hotels, resorts, in hot tourist destinations of the state have been cancelled or are in the process of being cancelled.
During this time of the year, the locals of Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner and Mount Abu set their eyes to welcome tourists in large number, but the fear of coronavirus has led to a massive drop in the number of tourists, both foreign and local, arriving in the desert state.
However, the state government has made all necessary preparations to deal with the menace. On one hand, it has been trying to ensure that the problem does not get out of control and on the other, it is concerned with the hit that the tourism sector in the state has taken because of the scare.
Various sectors in Rajasthan like the hotel industry, comprising of small, medium and large hotels, the gems and jewellery industry, the handicraft industry and small time traders who deal in stones, quilts, etc., depend heavily on arrival of tourists from various parts of the country and abroad, to sell and promote their wares and services.
To get the first-hand experience of the rich heritage, its culture and tradition, tourists from the US, Australia, France, England and various other parts of the world visit Rajasthan.
Various historical places of Jaipur, Jaislamer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, known as tourist hub, including Amer Fort, Albert Hall, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Mehrangarh Fort, Bikaner Fort, etc., have been visibly receiving fewer tourists for the past few days since the coronavirus scare has upsurged.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has held several high-level meetings to take stock of the situation and ensure that it does not gets out of control.
Several tourists, comprising of tourists from Italy, had visited various parts of Rajasthan including Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur. Two of them, a couple, were later found carrying coronavirus and had to be quarantined and were kept at the Sawai Man Singh (SMS) hospital in Jaipur. Several others of that group were also found to be inflicted with coronavirus.
Rajasthan tourism minister Bishvendra Singh said that due to coronavirus, hotel bookings were being cancelled and that as per preliminary information, 20 to 30 per cent of bookings had been cancelled.
CM Ashok Gehlot had earlier directed that the central government's guidelines with regard to coronavirus be followed completely and if any person shows symptoms with regard to this virus, then that person be fully screened.
The Rajasthan CM also directed that arrangements be made for ensuring that if any other person shows symptoms of coronavirus during the screening then that person be kept in home isolation or at a hospital's isolation ward.