Former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden was in Madurai to promote the inaugural edition of the…
Khajuraho: Anirban Roy, The two-day BRICS Convention on Tourism is all set to begin in the temple city from Thursday and will be attended by tourism ministers and officials of all the five BRICS countries.
BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Even as the economy of the World Heritage site is dependent on tourism, local people connected with the industry believe that convening the BRICS tourism event at Khajuraho has no meaning if the Centre and the state governments fail to address the basic problems of the people.
“Why is the convention being held here, and not in New Delhi?” AP Sylvan, owner of Raj Ganapathy Travels asked adding that the government should realise that more than 7,000 families of the temple city are directly engaged in the tourism industry and the economy is all set to crumple.
Built roughly around 1,000 years back, the sculptures on the walls of the temples of Khajuraho have ceased to attract foreign tourists. The city hosted 98,287 foreign visitors in 2012 and the number went declined to 79,846 in 2013, 71,377 in 2014 and 65,236 in 2015.
Sylvan, who worked with Air India for over three-decades, said the number is going to be lower this time. “How can we expect foreign tourists to come here when there is no connectivity?”
There is no direct rail connectivity with major cities, and roads leading to the destination are also in a bad condition.
“You will be shocked to know that there is only one Air India flight from Delhi via Varanasi and that too for only three days a week,” Mohit Shrivastava, manager of Travel Assistance — the largest local excursion handling agent of Khajuraho — said.