Tourist destinations start to reopen in India
The Taj Mahal and other historic landmarks in Agra, India will reopen to tourists on June 16, 2021, after remaining closed for more than 2 months due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Taj Mahal was closed to tourists on April 4, when the second wave began to rise.
- The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has decided to reopen the monuments under its supervision as the second wave recedes across the country.
- The final decision was left to the governments of the respective states and to the district magistrates under whose jurisdiction these monuments are located.
Agra District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh confirmed that he had received the notification from ASI and forwarded it to the state government, requesting guidelines for reopening the monument. The revised guidelines are expected to arrive on Tuesday.
The Taj Mahal had remained closed to tourists for nearly 200 days in 2020-21 before reopening on April 4. The closure heavily affected the local tourism and hospitality sectors.
Prominent hoteliers in Agra told India Today TV that the hospitality industry has been on its knees for 16 to 17 months. The hotel employees can barely manage without working. They complained that neither the Center nor the state government had learned of their plight.
Domestic tourists could return to Agra if the Taj Mahal reopens on June 16. This should revive the local economy in Agra, which relies heavily on Taj Mahal tourism.