In a bid to revive city tourism, the state government has decided to allow the guided walking tours of Mumbai from this week.
With international tourists likely to stay away, the government wants to encourage local residents to play tourists and at the same time, help tour guides financially, who are among the worst-hit by the lockdown.
Confirming the move, Principal Secretary (Tourism) Valsa Nair-Singh said that private tour operators had earlier approached the government seeking help.
The restarting of guided tours will almost coincide with the reopening of restaurants, cafes and bars. The government would be hoping that both initiatives help push the city’s hospitality and tourism industry, which has been reeling under the lockdown.
Heritage tours along Fort, Colaba and Ballard Estate and nature trails are popular tourist attractions. While these are normally on the bucket list of foreign tourists, the government has permitted the attractions with an eye at luring local customers this time around.
It has, however, made it clear that social distancing norms must be maintained at all such tours. While participants and guides will have to wear masks, no tours will be allowed to pass through containment zones. Participants will also have to certify that they haven’t had any Covid-19 symptom in the recent past.
As a precautionary measure, only small tours will be permitted. No high-fives, no fist-bumps or hugs will be allowed.
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