Hyderabad: After remaining closed for over six months, tourist spots and recreational centres which are go to places for citizens during weekends and public holidays, are now packed to brim with visitors across the city.

As part of Unlock 5, tourist places such as historic sites, museums, forts and other recreational centres were permitted to resume their operations starting October 1. Accordingly, the city which boasts of a slew of heritage monuments, palaces, parks and museums and other tourists sites have witnessed a good flow of visitors.

The tourism industry is among the worst hit by Covid-19. Now, as the city is steadily unlocking itself, there is some sort of relief to tourism sector as visitors have been flocking popular spots including Shilparamam, Lumbini Park and Charminar.

B Manohar, Managing Director, Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation, said there still is a little scare among the public in visiting tourist spots. However, there was a good flow of tourists on October 2 which was a public holiday on account of Gandhi Jayanti. “Still, there is a long way to go for the return of the pre-Covid situation,” he said.

“On Friday, over 50,000 visitors thronged Lumbini Park, which is a good sign. We can expect usual footfall only when a vaccine is available to the public. However, tourist places are safe to visit as all precautions were in place to instill confidence in them,” Manohar said. According to tourism officials, boating has resumed in Hussain Sagar with 50 per cent capacity and the fare is the same. Though demand is not very high, visitors have been coming for boating in this lake, officials said.

Shilparamam, a popular cultural centre in the IT corridor of the city, is all abuzz with tourists. On Friday, a total of 1,450 visitors made a beeline to spent time and enjoy the serene ambience apart from shopping. In the wake of Covid-19, timings at Shilparamam have been changed and it will be open from 2 pm to 8 pm. The entry fee remains the same.

“Usually, we witness a footfall of over 3,000 every day. Given the situation since the last six months, the footfall is remarkable. We expect a rise in the number of visitors in the coming days. Security guards are scanning every tourist before allowing them into the premises and we are ensuring proper sanitation and hygiene,” said Kishan Rao, Special Officer to Shilparamam.

Officials said they have assumed that there would not be many visitors when tourist places were reopened. However, the response from visitors has been encouraging since Friday. Since festive season begins this month and stretches into November, tourist and recreational places are very likely to packed with visitors, said a senior official with the Tourism Department.

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