India has announced suspension of all tourist visas till April 15 in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.
India is witnessing a 25 per cent to 30 per cent drop in inbound international visitors to the country in recent months in the backdrop of novel coronavirus fears, Civil Aviation Joint Secretary Usha Padhee said on Thursday.
“There has been a drastic reduction in numbers (visitors to India) of international travellers, I was told that it has come down by 25 to 30 per cent. Because of the quarantine by every country, both (inbound and outbound) have got severe impact,” she told reporters in Hyderabad.
She was speaking on the sidelines of civil aviation show 'Wings India 2020' which began in Hyderabad on Thursday.
The official said there has been a reduction in the number of domestic travellers also as people with business purpose or emergency requirements were only travelling.
India has on Wednesday announced suspension of all tourist visas till April 15 in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.
All incoming travellers, including Indians, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after February 15 will be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days, the Centre has said.
Replying to a query, Padhee said the situation was purely temporary in nature and there had been a turnaround in China, the genesis of the viral fever that killed over 3,000, "which is a good sign".
On the impact on the 'Wings India 2020', the official said the event was expected to be attended by only one third of the anticipated 1,500 delegates.
According to her, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri will participate with the industry leaders in session wherein the current situation of the sector will be discussed.
The flagship biennial event is being jointly organised by the civil aviation ministry and industry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad from March 12 to 15.
Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters