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The pandemic has really hit tourism hard. From museums to historic places, the footfall in 2020 has been abysmal, affecting revenue quite seriously.
One of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, saw less than 1% of international tourists amidst visa and international flight restrictions in 2020.
With half of the peak season gone, one of the biggest draws in India for international visitors saw a steep decline as international group bookings were discontinued till March 31, 2021.
The peak season is from September to December. In December 2019, the monument saw more than 62,000 foreign visitors.
Taj Mahal which was closed down in accordance to the guidelines was reopened in September 2020. Yet only 2,508 international visitors were registered this December. That's just 0.8% of last year’s visitors.
A majority of the foreign tourists, approximately 24%, come from the UK and USA mostly through group bookings.
In the peak season, a weekly average of 500 group bookings are recorded.
Travel agencies said they do not expect any increase in such bookings as it is the off season.
The UN World Trade reported a 70% decline in international travel with $935 billion losses in travel revenue around the world, dragging the sector back by 30 years.
With Taj Mahal earning 65 crores in revenue in 2019 and more than 5 lakh foreign visitors, 2020 proved to be a difficult year not only for the monument but for the lakhs of people dependent in Agra on tourists.
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