PANAJI: Union tourism minister G Kishan Reddy on Saturday asked tourists not to cancel their holiday plans over fears of third coronvirus wave, saying people should instead focus on maintaining precautionary protocol and vaccination.
Reddy made the statement during his visit to Goa where tourism is acknowledged as the backbone of the Goan economy, with 40% of the population directly or indirectly dependent on it.
“The tourism sector not just in India, but across the world was affected… Domestic tourism is picking up now and people are travelling to destinations in a big number. But today, there is some talk that there may be a third wave. But I request people, whether the third wave comes or not, everyone (with travel plans) should follow corona protocol and travel to tourist destinations,” Reddy said at a Press conference during his visit on Saturday.
“Those who are getting vaccinations should get completely vaccinated with two doses of Covid-19 vaccine. This will help to revive the tourism sector at a much greater speed. States and UTs are requested to ensure maximum vaccination of beneficiaries in cities as well as villages,” he stated.
“On an international level, we are studying the situation the world over through our embassies. There is information about the impending third wave in some countries. In those countries, we have focussed on tourists from those countries and have also increased monitoring. I am fully confident that we can control the third wave. Our efforts are that the third wave does not hit India,” he added.
The Union minister was in the state to inaugurate a slew of tourist facilities funded via the Union government including at Colva beach, Old Goa, Aguada in North Goa among others.
The tourism ministry later issued a clarification on the minister’s statement and reiterated to to the official statement issued on the Press conference.
“Shri Reddy also cautioned the citizens to follow Covid protocols as tourism is seeing steady growth in the country after the first year of the pandemic. “Domestic tourism is seeing and upward trend in the country. Currently since a third wave of Covid-19 is being suspected across the world, I request people to strictly adhere to Covid protocol during their visits to tourist destinations,” he (minister) stated, according to the statement.