Heat hits tourism in Agra (With Image)

May 28th, 2012 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, May 28 (IANS) Searing summer heat has hit tourist inflow into Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, India’s biggest tourist draw.

Tourist arrivals have been sliding in the last 10 days with the temperature rising to 46 degrees Celsius Sunday, said a representative of a hotels association.

“The forecast is not good for the next week or 10 days. Temperature could shoot up to 47 or even 48 degrees,” said Rakesh Chauhan, president of the Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association.

The Taj is getting fewer visitors.

“The number of domestic tourists has not fallen so drastically but one sees fewer foreign visitors,” said Taj Mahal caretaker Munnazzar Ali.

Gopalakrishnan, a tourist from Madurai in Tamil Nadu, said: “It’s so difficult to walk in the sun. Everyone has to carry water bottles.”

Owners of hotels near the Taj Mahal complained of poor business.

“It’s a lean season, so we don’t get Western tourists at this time of the year,” said hotelier Sandip Arora.

For the convenience of tourists, the authorities recently started a special air-conditioned bus that takes tourists around monuments.

“The heritage bus is indeed a good idea. It’s comfortable,” said Magan Bhai, a tourist from Udaipur in Rajasthan.

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