As the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPIA) is set to take up repair work of its runway, tourist traffic in Gujarat (both in-bound and out-bound) is going to be hit.
This summer, the outbound traffic from Gujarat is expected to be down by 35 per cent, while the inbound traffic to the state might fall 20-25 per cent.
SVPIA has undertaken partial re-carpeting and repair of its 3.5-km-long runway, and this will be extended fully from April 16. As a result, flights will not operate between 10 am and 6 pm. The re-carpeting is likely to get over by March 2017.
Tour operators across the state are worried. While the hot summers are a lean season for inbound traffic to Gujarat, it is the time when the globe-trotting Gujaratis go on a vacation. “This year, the summer outbound traffic would be easily down by 30-35 per cent,” felt Manish Sharma, owner of Akshar Travels and chairman of the Gujarat Tourism Development Society.
Trains are already booked for the summer, and apart from Mumbai or Rajasthan, the road routes, too, are not a practical option for tourists, feel tour operators across the state.
The share of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar in total tourist arrival during 2014-15 was 19 per cent, according to data provided to Business Standard by Gujarat Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation (GITCO), which manages the tourist flow information system for the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat.