Following a considerable drop in the number of active COVID-19 cases, tourism is rebounding in India. As restrictions ease, travel bookings have started to spike across the country after a dismal 2020 as Indians flock to tourist spots – from the beaches of Goa on the west coast to the mountainous north.
Amid this, some places have emerged as the top choices of people who are planning their trips ahead of the festive season in the country. Below are five popular tourist destinations in this pandemic era:
Udaipur: ‘The City of Lakes’ is one of the best cities in Rajasthan where you can explore royal palaces, stunning lakes, well-crafted temples, and gardens. The city was the former capital of the erstwhile princely state of Mewar. Historical monuments and lakes dot various parts of the city.
Also, a helicopter service has recently started in Udaipur which covers Nathdwara, Kumbhalgarh, Rajsamand, giving a thrill of flying and enjoying the birds-eye view of these cities.
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Udaipur has recorded maximum tourist footfall in 10 years, the Principal Secretary of Rajasthan Tourism, Gayatri Rathore told ANI.
Rajasthan is a state with diverse geological terrains and environments, it has deserts, forests, and water bodies that attract tourists. Adventure activities at these places also becomes an added attraction for tourists and provide a totally different experience.
Rajasthan does not require a negative report if at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is taken.
Kashmir: Kashmir’s tourism industry is witnessing a boom after hitting a low in the last two years. The valley has emerged as the most sought-after destination in 2021 for premium domestic tourists otherwise accustomed to jaunts abroad.
This phenomenon has resulted in a major jump in business for luxury hotels. A lot of tourists can now be seen around Dal Lake, Gulmarg, and places like Pahalgam.
In a special drive, the tourism department has been able to vaccinate over 90% of tourism stakeholders such as shikara (boat) and pony owners, and caterers, hence creating a tourist-friendly environment at times like these.
The government of Jammu and Kashmir has also given special discounts and offers to the tourists coming to the valley. Some new sites are being added as well as adventure tourism is also being promoted.
Earlier COVID test was mandatory for all those entering Jammu and Kashmir at Lakhanpur in Kathua district, however, as per the new COVID guidelines issued by the J&K Government, mandatory testing for COVID can be dispensed for people who are fully vaccinated i.e received both doses of the vaccine.
Meghalaya: A similar trend is emerging in Meghalaya, the second northeastern State after Sikkim to open its doors for tourists.
The state, also known as ‘Abode of the Clouds’ is at the top number for tourism goals during monsoon as its rain calls visitors and bestows the best feeling of nature and its tranquillity.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has announced a special tour package for travel enthusiasts visiting Meghalaya.
The special tour package is for six-night and seven days. As a part of this, one can visit important cities and other beautiful places of the state, including Shillong and Cherrapunji.
The most interesting part of the tour package is that one will be provided with a Royal Enfield motorcycle to tour the state.
Tourists, who have been fully inoculated, will be allowed to visit Meghalaya, while negative Covid test reports, conducted 72 hours before arrival in the state, will be mandatory for those who received the first dose of vaccine.
Goa: The sunshine state of India is perhaps one of the most-loved destinations for beach lovers from across the world.
Goa has reopened the state for tourists from other states since early last month, but with restrictions.
Events and parties are a big draw for tourists in Goa, and such addresses are slowly opening with COVID protocols. Nightlife is a great medium to relax and let loose for the state that has been a hippie haven for decades and has all that it takes for a great vacation. However, cruises and casinos are still looking forward to permission to resume operations.
Goa’s 105-km-long coastline has around 400 beach shacks dotting the coastal sandy stretches.
Tourists who are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival can enter the state without any negative RT-PCR report while negative Covid test reports, conducted 72 hours before arrival in the state, will be mandatory for the rest.
Sikkim: The second smallest and the least populated state located in the North-eastern part of India is a beautiful gem in the lap of nature.
Rich in culture and heritage the state nestles plenty of Mountains, Glaciers, Rivers, Caves, National Parks, Hot water springs, and Bird Sanctuaries to satiate the appetite of the traveler in you.
An ethereally beautiful hill station and known as the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok should be your first stop to drop your travel bags and undrape the magic that the city holds for you.
The best time to visit Sikkim is between March and November, as the weather is very pleasant and for those who are brave enough to face the extreme weather conditions, be rest assured the beauty of Sikkim will not disappoint you during December and February.
Fully vaccinated individuals can enter the state without showing negative RT-PCR reports whereas people who have got one dose of vaccination will need negative Covid test reports, conducted 72 hours before arrival, to enter the state.
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