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Coronavirus cloud on tourism in Odisha

Tourism has taken a beating in Bhitarkanika National Park. Foreign tourists are apprehensive whether Odisha is safe from the virus.

Published: 18th February 2020 12:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2020 12:26 PM   |  A+A-

Tourists enjoying a boat ride in Bhitarkanika National Park | EXPRESS

By Express News Service

KENDRAPARA: THE fear of Coronavirus has taken a toll on tourism in the State. Several overseas tourists from foreign countries have cancelled their visit to Odisha even as the deadly virus continues to claim lives in China and other countries. Managing Director of Travel Link Private Limited Benjamin Simon said Coronavirus has severely affected inflow of foreign tourists to famous Buddhist sites of Lalitagiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri, also known as the ‘Diamond Triangle’.

Tourists in large numbers, mostly from countries like China,Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and others visit these sites every year. Similarly, people from the State visit Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries in the winter season. They too have cancelled their tickets owing to fear of Coronavirus. A bank employee, Swadhin Das of Kendrapara said, “We had booked air tickets to visit Thailand, Cambodia and Singapore three months back. But we cancelled it recently due to the outbreak.” Benjamin said tourists from abroad are on ‘wait and watch’ mode.

There are already signs that foreign tourists are having doubts about visiting Odisha in winters as most of them also visit Thailand, Myanmar, China, Japan and other countries during their tour to the State. Coronavirus has also dealt a huge blow to tribal tourism in Koraput, Malkangiri and Gajapati districts. Tourists in large numbers visit the tribal villages in these districts in this season. An official of Tourism department Ratikanta Patnaik said Odisha Tourism had to cancel a road show in Thailand next month owing to the Coronavirus scare. Tourism has taken a beating in Bhitarkanika National Park. Foreign tourists are apprehensive whether Odisha is safe from the virus. Cyclone Fani had affected tourism in the State last year and the deadly virus has broken its backbone, rued Sanghamitra Jena of Eastern Treasure India Tours.

5 China returnees under observation

Bhawanipatna: Five persons who returned to Kalahandi from China in the last one month, have been found to be safe and kept in home isolation for observation. Among them, two each are from Vedanta and Lanjigarh, one from Kesinga and two from Kalampur. Chief District Medical Officer Dr Jagulal Agarwal, said no symptoms of Coronavirus have been found in any of the five persons. They have been kept in home isolation for 20 days. A three-bed isolation ward has been opened in the District Headquarters Hospital, he said.

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