What started as a noble intention of reviving tourism to the tropical islands
has now come full circle, with Andaman-based tour operators and hotel owners protesting
against a scheme to fly-in budget tourists.
budget tourists, they say, are proving counterproductive unlike visits by wealthier
travellers, and consequently to the island''s tourism revenue.
part of the local tourism industry, now say that these hordes of cost-conscious
visitors are putting a strain on the island''s tourism resources, without generating
much needed income.
largely for daylong trips, the budget travellers come, see and leave, some without
as much as spending any significant amount. Estimates put the number of visitors
to the islands at 150,000, with almost 80 per cent of them being low-wage state
a bid to revive tourism to the tsunami-ravaged islands, the government had opened
the Andaman and Nicobar islands as a holiday destination to all level of government
employees, allowing them to utilise their leave travel allowances to fly to the
those hopping aboard the first available flight to visit the islands'' legendary
beaches, forests, coral reefs and tribal cultures, once the domain of senior state
employee on vacations have middle and junior level government employees.
travel agents catering to the low-budgets block large chunks of available flights,
reducing availability of tickets to up-market tourists.
few hundred protesters chose the World Tourism Day to voice their concerns outside
the tourism directorate at the island''s capital Port Blair, warning of more protests
if the government pays no heed to their demands.