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Tsunami hits Andaman tourism

January 27, 2005 17:43 IST

Tsunami disaster has a taken heavy toll on the tourism industry of Andaman and Nicobar islands.

"Almost all the bookings for the months of January and February have been cancelled and nobody is willing to visit the islands," Deepak Govind, president of Andaman and Nicobar Tourism Guild, said.

Govind, a tour operator, had to refund lakhs of rupees to tourists who made their bookings before tsunami.

"All the tour operators and travel agents, who are our members, are holding meeting so that a collective decision could be taken to cope with this crisis," Govind said. "The Rs 1000 crore (Rs 10 billion) tourism industry which is the backbone of Andaman economy is in danger now."

"At present we are earning only 40 per cent of what we have earned before December. The present earning is due to the visit of tsunami relief workers, NGOs, scientists and senior government officers. This 'disaster tourism' will continue for hardly months but what would happen after two months?" he wondered.

Disaster tourism is the only relief to the Andaman and Nicobar industry after tsunami. Relief workers and officers are hiring vehicles in large number, which in turn is helping the local tourism industry to earn a meagre profit.

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