While the opposition may slam PM Modi’s demonetisation move and call it a threat to the tourism industry, the ground reality is totally different from what they’ve projected so far. There are no visible effects of demonetisation on Rajasthan tourism industry.
Last November, total 29,56,685 local and 85,479 foreign travellers visited Jaipur. Compared to this figure, this year, the number of travellers visiting Jaipur was recorded as 29,11,900 (natives) and 2,55,030 (foreign tourists). Jaisalmer on the other hand, witnessed 25% increase in the number of tourists this year. Same is the case with Udaipur that received 11% more tourists compared to last year.
According to Sanjay Kaushik, owner of Rajputana Tour and Travels company, November had been slightly drier in terms of tourism. Nevertheless, with Rajasthan government promoting online transactions through Paytm, PoS machines and online tourism portals, many tourists have started booking tickets online now.
Even local cash windows saw long queues of people, waiting to book their tickets. This isn’t all! After the Centre announced discounts on IRCTC bookings and bus tickets, many families have reserved tickets to Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur during Christmas and New Year.
This year it was Jaisalmer that received abundant of profits from the tourism industry. Many travellers have already made bookings in advance for hotels, resorts and dessert camps. The holiday homes and hotels are almost full and guest rooms are running out of rooms. In this situation, the guests are being transferred to private homes, bungalows and villas to accommodate them during New Year.
Although demonetisation had a short-lived impact on the tourist sector, it had regained its lost lustre in the month of December. Most of the travellers are already well-versed with cashless transactions. Even the foreigners are using international credit cards and debit cards at public outlets. This has helped boost tourism industry to great extend.
Rajasthan natives have braced up to welcome a large mob of tourists for the upcoming New Year celebrations. Hopefully, 2017 will bring new opportunities for local business.