Rajasthan loses tourists, Blame Protests

Frequent agitations and the other states coming up with new tourist destinations and cheap tour packages has led to a dip in domestic tourist footfalls in Rajasthan in the past three years, says a recently released tourism department report. According to the progress report 2010-11 released by the tourism department, a decline of 12 per cent has been registered in the past three years. While the department has been trying to attract tourists with country-wide road shows, tour operators in the state hold frequent agitations and new tourist destinations responsible for the loss of domestic tourists. "We are road shows across the country to promote state tourism. We have already held 19 road shows across the country and more are in the offing this year," says Rekha Gupta, additional director, tourism department. Tourism road shows have already been held at Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Kochi, Patna, Lucknow, Pune among others.
Tour operators in the state hold frequent agitations by Mueena Gurjars and Jats as the primary reason for domestic tourists giving the desert beauty a miss. "In December last year, Gurjar agitation had disrupted road and rail traffic. Most tourists visit the state during winters but the agitations compelled tourists to consider other options," said Anand Agarwal of Rajasthan Tour and Travel Agency. States like Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are leaving no stone unturned to attract tourists. "Competition in the domestic tourism has increased manifold. New venues are opening up and cheaper tour packages are on offer. The state tourism department should also promote its places and tradition well," said Mahaveer Singh of Jaipur Travels.