An alert by US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), advising pregnant women against travelling to Rajasthan in wake of the Zika outbreak, is likely to adversely impact tourism in the state.
Rajasthan is one of the most sought after tourist places in India. According to data from Rajasthan’s tourism department, a total of 4.3 crore people visited the state in 2016 and 4.7 crore in 2017.
People from the tourism sector say that the peak tourist season for Rajasthan starts from October and lasts till March. “One of the reasons behind this increase in footfall is the number of holidays during the period,” said Sanjay Kaushik, a Jaipur-based tour operator.
The tourism department claims that more than 35.34 lakh Indian and foreign tourists visited Rajasthan in December 2017, while the figure for the same period in 2016 was around 31.73 lakh.
Experts say events like the Pushkar Fair, Jaipur Literature Festival, Holi and Gangaur fair in Jaipur also add to the number of tourists visiting the state during this period. The first Zika case was reported in the state on September 23 and till October-end, around 153 Zika cases were reported.