Tourist hotspots deserted, thanks to World Cup final

April 2nd, 2011 - 3:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, April 2 (IANS) All top tourist hotspots in this city remained deserted since Saturday morning as it hosts the World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka.

A handful of people were seen at the gates of north-west Mumbai’s Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) and the tiger and lion safaris there Saturday morning. Usually on weekends, serpentine queues of tourists are seen at the park.

Ditto with the Kanheri Caves inside the SGNP, which usually has busloads of tourists thronging the venue.

The number of visitors bound for the amusement parks in Gorai Beach, north-west Mumbai, had come to a trickle on account of the final.

Juhu beach, Chowpatty beach, most cinema halls and multiplexes, barring those screening the match, noted thin to nil crowds by Saturday afternoon, spelling a bad business day for the scores of vendors there.

“We came to Mumbai last (Friday) night and were shocked by the security. So, we have decided to postpone our sightseeing till Sunday,” said Nigam Pandya, a tourist from Daman who is visiting the city with his wife.

Though the Gateway of India and its precincts were sealed in view of the Indian and Sri Lankan teams staying at Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel close by, the authorities made a concession for the tourist boats plying between Mumbai-Elephanta Islands and Mumbai-Alibaug in Raigad district.

Even these boats reported barely 10 percent of their regular passenger load, but many foreigners were seen going to Elephanta Islands.

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