Coronavirus scare: Sikkim prohibits the entry of foreigners, prohibits permits to Nathu La | India News
A general ban on permits has been issued to visit Nathu, which borders China.
“Darjeeling and Sikkim are interconnected tourist destinations. Foreign tourists usually spend four and a half days in Sikkim and two and a half days in Darjeeling. Now that they will not be able to travel to Sikkim, they are more likely to cancel the Darjeeling stretch of their visits and go elsewhere during the week-long vacation, “said Amit Periwal, the owner of Clubside Tours & Travel, who spent the largest part of the time, on Thursday, informing its clients in the United States and Europe about the development.
The tourist season in the hills begins in April.
The ban will affect tourism, but health security is a priority: Sikkim
The department of origin of Sikkim issued a notification on Thursday that limits the issue of the interior line permit, a travel document that foreigners must have in addition to the Indian visa to visit the state of the Himalayas. The restriction also applies to Bhutan nationals. A few hours after the notification, an Australian group that had to travel to the belt since March 28 sent a cancellation request to Pradeep Lama, owner of Blue Line Tours & Travel. “I’m afraid there will be more cancellations of this kind,” said Lama.
About 8% of Darjeeling visitors are foreigners. The Americans and Europeans, in addition to the Japanese and Chinese, constitute a large number of travelers to Sikkim and North Bengal. While restrictions on the entry of Chinese and Japanese travelers to India have been imposed following the spread of the new coronavirus, the decision of the Sikkim government will now affect not only hotels in Darjeeling, but also the travel industry in Calcutta and The rest of India.
“As the one-way travel business disappeared, we were trying to attract foreigners to India who had been relatively free of nCoV. But with the cases in Kerala and then in Delhi and Agra, some of the great tourist attractions are gone. Now that Sikkim cannot enter foreigners, recovery efforts through the sale of India are over, “said the president of the Federation of Travel Agents of India (east), Anil Punjabi. Raj Basu, tourism consultant for the Sikkim government acknowledged that the measure would be a blow to the sector, but said that health security was the priority.