KENDRAPARA: The Central Government decision on demonetisation left the tourists and tour operators in a lurch in Kendrapara. Since it is the peak tourism season, large number of visitors thronged different tourist spots in the district. However, they had to face problem as no transactions could be made using `500 and `1000 notes.
“On Wednesday, a group of tourists had a tough time in the Bhitarkanika National Park as the forest officials refused to accept the high value notes as entry fee,” said Sanghamitra Jena, tour operator of Eastern Treasure India Tour.
The economy of many villages within Bhitarkanika National Park depends on tourism and the ban on currency notes has affected their business, added Jena.
Some foreign tourists were stranded at a toll gate for about three hours near Chandikhol as they had only `500 and `1000 notes. Hotel owners, toll gate men and petrol pump owners refused to receive the notes, creating inconvenience for the revelers.
“The Government should allow hotels, restaurants, toll gates and other agencies to receive `500 and `1000 notes from the tourists,” said Gagan Sarangi, the president of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO)-Odisha chapter.
Though the Government allowed petrol pumps to receive `500 and `1000 notes, almost all of them refused to accept them.
Many tourists had to face problem during their visit to the Buddhist sites of Ratnagiri and Lalitagiri as the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has no online entry ticket purchase system. Besides, the closure of ATMs and banks added to the woes of the tourists.