CAA Protests Spike Tourist Footfalls At The Taj Mahal In Agra

LUCKNOW || While the winters have traditionally been high footfall days for tourism in India, this year has been different. In what seems to be a piece of bad news, India’s global wonder – Taj Mahal has witnessed a steady decline in footfall given the tense situation that prevails in the country, especially in the aftermath of the CAA protests.

In the backdrop of the CAA–NRC protests and other allied issues that roil the nation at large. Taj Mahal has seen a 36% dip in the footfall in December this year. About 2 lakh domestic and international tourists cancelled or postponed their trip to the Taj Mahal in this month.

ASI data shows 7 lakh tourists, including foreigners, visited Taj Mahal in December 2018 while only 4.5 lakh have visited this year. A steady fall has been noticed from November. Countries like USA, UK, Russia, Israel, Singapore, Canada and Taiwan have issued travel advisories.

Meanwhile the Superintending Archaeologist in ASI (Agra circle) Vasant Swarankar has said that the decline in footfalls is not ‘unusual’. There is also chatter about the fact that repeated internet shutdowns have sent a wrong message abroad. In UP, 21 districts, including Agra have remained under internet curfew for several days.

Agra witnesses this situation at a time when many countries have issued advisories to citizens against travelling to India.

Uttar Pradesh has seen the highest number of casualties – 19, according to the UP police—from the anti-CAA protests so far. Despite booking tickets online for a Taj Mahal visit, many domestic and international tourists have cancelled trips, especially in western UP.

In a string of reasons made public about why the dip, it is learnt from widespread protests against the new citizenship act to tension ahead of the Ayodhya verdict have been instrumental in impacting numbers.

–Arijit Bose

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