Hospitality Sector Collapsed in Rishikesh ahead of Second Wave

April 18, 2021 – Though Rishikesh is not among the worst-hit cities by Covid-19, the standard operating procedures put in place by the local administration as well as the state government has adversely affected the tourism sector in Rishikesh.


As per health department data, Rishikesh reported 37 Covid-19 cases on April 12. AIIMS Rishikesh has a dedicated Covid facility with an isolation ward.

Recently, several staff members of a five-star hotel of Rishikesh had tested positive for Covid-19. The restrictions imposed by the city administration helped in reducing Covid cases in Rishikesh, but it is also killing the business in this tourist hub of Uttarakhand.


With restrictions and curbs in place, the crowded markets of Rishikesh now wear a deserted look.

Satender Negi, a local shop owner at Patna Waterfall, said, “After this new advisory goverment has killed our business. We used to earn Rs 500 – Rs 1000 a day but now its simply ZERO.”

Kalyan Singh, owner of a resort, says, “We had advanced bookings for the month of April & May, Our resort was almost full untill this order & On the very next day people started asking about the procedure to cancel there bookings and Its almost 2 weeks & we haven’t seen a single tourist since then.”



Rishikesh’s proximity to the upper Himalayas along with the Ganges river flowing across the city makes it a very popular destination for river rafting. Rafting was halted recently when disaster struck the Chamoli district. The city had started gearing up to re-open when the surge in Covid cases led to authorities imposing restrictions on tourists travelling to Uttarakhand.

Ordinarily, to enjoy a high current raft ride in the river Ganges for 9 km, a tourist has to pay Rs 500 for 9 km and Rs 800 for 14 km. The rafting guides have reduced their rate by 20 per cent to attract tourists, but there are no takers.

Neeraj Negi, Rafting Operator said, “After this order the first thing I did was to fired my entire staff. Whole year we wait for the month of April, May & June as its our peak season & now its all ruined, I have EMI’s to pay, Office Rent to pay, I really don’t know what to do now.”

The government must think about local businesses and make rules accordingly. Imposing restrictions is affecting their business adversely.

The total loss may go up to millions, which is a big jolt to the state which largely relies on tourism and hospitality.