Visakhapatnam: After a lull, travel plans resume

(Top) A view of Simhachalam temple, one of the pilgrim centres, in Visakhapatnam. Borra Caves, one of the tourist spots, at Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam district
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(Top) A view of Simhachalam temple, one of the pilgrim centres, in Visakhapatnam. Borra Caves, one of the tourist spots, at Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam district

Highlights

After a break of almost two years, Tourism sector seems to be limping back towards normalcy. People have now started evincing interest in visiting tourist spots.

Visakhapatnam: After a break of almost two years, Tourism sector seems to be limping back towards normalcy. People have now started evincing interest in visiting tourist spots.

This trend, according to tour operators, is a welcome sign. Apart from showing interest in visiting local tourist spots, people are also willing to experiment to go to places like Rajasthan and Gujarat.

The ensuing Dasara holidays appear to be an apt period to mark the calendar, chart out the itinerary and head to the sought-after destination.

Normally, the travel plan commences two months ahead of the festive season. Based on the area of interest and budget set aside for the leisure trip, the travel is planned to visit temples or tourist spots or a new destination or an international location. For the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has dampened the spirit of the festive season.

Not many looked forward to travelling as they used to during pre-Covid years. With the restrictions in place and the fear of infection looming large, travel plans took a hit for apparent reasons.

But, with the corona virus cases gradually receding across the country and several tourist spots, pilgrim centres opening up, the focus on travel has once again gained momentum. "Leisure trip has been a part of our life for the past 15 years. We have covered many destinations across the world so far, including Goa, Ooty, Amarnath and Singapore.

But we have deliberately cut down on our travel plans due to the pandemic situation in the past two years. This year, we have resumed the trip but confining ourselves within the state," says Ch Ramana, a government employee.

Keeping the seasonal demand in view, both the railways and the RTC have started running special trains and buses respectively to various destinations.

Apart from those who plan for their leisure travel, employees who are away from their hometowns also head to their native places during Dasara.

Earlier, the reservations showed 'regret' even if the ticket booking was planned a month before. Currently, the situation is not as demanding as it used to be a couple of years ago.

"Despite a drop in Covid-19 cases, we are still not confident to travel with family, especially to the crowded tourist spots. If things continue to improve, we might plan for a trip during Sankranti vacation," opines G Anil Kumar, an employee of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

The tourism and travel sectors that have been largely affected due to the pandemic now have a scope to get back to their pre-pandemic normal in times of Dasara.

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