PM Narendra Modi could well have played the role of the opposite of Santa Claus this Christmas.
The impact of demonetisation decision was evident in November PMI data for services and manufacturing and more is in the offing, according to brokerage Nomura. Kerala seems to have suffered a double-whammy in the form of currency crunch, after the ban on liquor a few months earlier, hitting tourism.
Foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) to Kerala, which is famous for its Christmas traditions, Ayurvedic treatment and backwaters, have suffered a massive jolt and so has Goa. Agra is another victim of subdued activity this year.
In a globalised world, it’s not difficult to gauge the impact of optics in the form of long queues at ATMs, chaos and uncertainty, on tourists who would be in no mood to face hassles during vacation, especially in a foreign destination.
“News about long queues outside ATMs travelled fast and the next thing we received was cancellation orders from Saudi Arabia.
Arrivals in November were OK since the bookings were done earlier. But cancellations started from December and the prospects for the remaining months look bleak,” the Economic Times quoted Abraham George, chairman of Intersight, the largest tour operator in Kerala, as saying.
The collateral damage could be on houseboats at places such as Alappuza and Kumarakom, though the quantum of hit can be assessed only after data is published.
Though foreign tourists would have paid for their hotel bookings in advance via online and other digital modes, they do need cash for shopping at various shops. The limits on currency exchange imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) impacted them.
Agra, famous for the world-famous Taj Mahal, is witnessing a drop in domestic tourist arrivals, a factor that is adding to its worries as FTAs are already on the decline. A report in the India Today, citing Vishal Sharma of Agra Tourist Welfare Chamber, said that the comfort provided by rise in domestic tourism that used to offset lesser foreign tourist arrivals has taken a hit due to demonetisation.
It is pertinent here that the period October to March is considered tourism season in India; the snowfall in places such as Shimla, Manali, Gulmarg and Srinagar in the months of December and January, apart from an overall cool weather attracts many foreign tourists in Holidays to India.
Despite of Celebrating Christmas Foreign Tourists have to resort to Street Performance to gather money
Foreign tourists in India have come up with the idea of street performances to fund their return tickets to New Delhi due to the cash crunch that the country has been facing following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
The demonetisation of the currency notes has left the tourists “virtually penniless” which is why two groups of foreigners, who had come to India in vacations resorted to performing on the streets to raise money.
The two groups, which consist of 10-12 tourists from Germany, Australia and France, were seen performing near Pushkar’s famous Brahma Temple and also at a crossing at the Gau Ghat in Pushkar on Saturday with the hope that locals might help them with some money. They were also seen holding placards that read: “You can help us” and “Money problem.”
According to a Hindustan Times report, the male members of the two groups played musical instruments while the female members performed acrobatic stunts with big hoops to entertain the large crowd that had gathered on the streets to watch their performance.
The tourists told the daily that they had to resort to street performances because all “ATMs and banks ran out of cash” due to which they could not withdraw money from their bank accounts.
“Locals have been kind to us. So far we have collected around Rs 2,600,” Adlrik, a German tourist, said.
The foreigners desperately want to return to New Delhi and get in touch with the respective embassies to sail through the cash crunch.
“As a last resort, we took recourse to performing on the streets to get some help from locals so that we can at least reach Delhi to seek help from our embassies,” Jayden told HT.
They could not withdraw or exchange money from banks and ATMs despite repeated attempts.
On Friday, my friend and I stood outside an SBI bank and another friend stood outside an ATM for three hours but as soon as our turn came, the cash was exhausted,” Adalene, a French tourist, said.
Christmas is also known as bada din in India meaning ‘the big day‘.
Customs for Christmas celebrations vary in the vast expanse of India. These variations are largely because of the local cultural influence.
A large number of domestic and international tourists flock to the beaches of Goa during Christmas festival to watch Goa at its best celebration.
One can also regale in the best of festive music and dance during Christmas festivities. Catholics participate in the traditional midnight mass services locally called Missa de Galo or Cock Crow as they go on well into early hours of the morning. The Carnival, preceding Lent, is the most important event .
This year the Christmas celebrations are also mid-sized.
Merry Christmas to all .. !
Along with thanks and compliments to the sources for the shared data
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