A man enjoying the natural beauty in Darjeeling
Photo by Md. Al-amin Nowshad on Unsplash
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Ready To Unwrap Darjeeling? – Here’s A Good News For You!

When was the last time you flew to explore a place? Maybe months ago or even years ago? You need not wait any longer. Having gone through almost 3 months at home, here is good news coming your way. After a few places like France, Egypt, Germany and Dubai started welcoming tourists, Darjeeling also, is now added to the list. Here is everything that you need to know about tourism getting restarted in Darjeeling during COVID and things to be followed while you are there:

A beautiful sunrise in Darjeeling
Photo by parinay clickers on Unsplash

After 3 months of intensive lockdown, Darjeeling is now ready to welcome tourists from July 1. Since the hotels, restaurants, shopping markets were all shut because of COVID-19, the economy of the city is hit so badly. As the city was surviving mainly on tourism, the lockdown paralyzed the economy of Darjeeling. So the city, which is the epicentre of tourism Northeast India, is now welcoming tourists from all over the world as it is the best way to boost the economy.

How did the government arrive at this decision?

Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), the autonomous administrative body for Darjeeling had a discussion with all the hotel owners, political parties, district administration and police regarding this big step. The committee is now all set to reopen hotels for tourism in order to revive the economy. But it is important that the hotel owners comply with the operating protocols set by the central government.

Darjeeling tourism is split into two parts. One is from February to June and the second begins from September to January. It has always been the case that the second half brings in more economy than the first. Now that the first half was challenging for the entire tourism industry including Darjeeling, the city is now completely dependant on the second half.

A picture of a group of tourists showing the strength of tourism in Darjeeling
Image Credits: Google Images

Locals reaction to opening tourism in the town

It was not a positive response from the locals at first. They were afraid that the resumption of business might lead to an increase in COVID cases. After assurance on proper sanitization and screening, they are with GTA now. In order to make sure that social distancing is maintained, tourists are only allowed to self-drive down the hills. Another reason for locals to accept this is that many of them had lost their jobs due to COVID-19. To help them, the state government has allowed the tea gardens to work with full strength. It is a tough time for all of them and the locals had to accept the resumption of Darjeeling tourism during COVID.

A tea garden in Darjeeling, the queen of hills
Image Credits: Google Images

Safety measures that are taken to manage COVID-19

  • The tourists, however, must submit their fitness certificate before stepping onto the hills.
  • Every tourist who visits Darjeeling will have to undergo screening at two different points before reaching the town of Darjeeling.
  • Strict policies will be followed by the hotel staffs along with the screening machinery to welcome tourists at the entrance itself.
Cedar Inn, a hotel which is famous for Darjeeling tourism
Image Credits: Google Images

Things to remember

  • Hotels will allow people to check-in from July 1. But make sure you maintain the health standards on your stay.
  • On your visit to Darjeeling, you must submit a fitness certificate. You will still be asked to take the screening process before stepping onto the hills.

Aren’t you bored of staying home? It is high time that you should plan a trip and breathe in some fresh air. And, Darjeeling is a perfect place for a relaxing holiday. The town is set to open from July 1 to welcome the tourists to stay on nature’s lap. To plan your trip, visit the website of Pickyourtrail and get the packages to Darjeeling. Happy and safe exploring with Pickyourtrail! Unwrap the world with Pickyourtrail!

Preetha Manivelan