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Covid-19: Bamyan’s tourism revenue dips

Covid-19: Bamyan’s tourism revenue dips

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May 09, 2020 - 14:12

BAMYAN CITY (Pajhwok): Tourism in central Bamyan province, accounting for 1.7 billion afghanis a year, has immensely suffered due to restrictions triggered by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Governor Mohammad Tahir Zahir told Pajhwok Afghan News thousands of domestic and foreign tourists would converge on the province every year.

However, he explained, restrictions on people’s movement to prevent the virus spread kept tourists away from Bamyan and thus led to a huge revenue loss for the province.

Zahir recalled hundreds of people associated with the industry would earn good incomes before the coronavirus outbreak. Most of them are now unemployed.

Hussain Parsa, head of the shopkeepers’ union in Band-i-Amir, confirmed hundreds of workers of hotels, meat shops, bakeries, and car-wash centres had lost their jobs. And so have boatsmen and photographers.

A large number of the people, who previously found work on a daily basis, were in a bad financial situation and needed urgent assistance, he added.

Band-i-Amir, containing seven dams, is considered the main tourist attraction of Bamyan. The government has declared it a national park.

The South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation had also declared Bamyan a “cultural capital” in 2015. Previously, up to 20,000 tourists visited the province annually.

Bamyan has many historical sites, including the two famous Buddha statues -- having heights of 35 and 53 meters.

Shahr-i-Zahak is another tourist spot which is located west of Bamyan City.

Mohammad Reza Ibrahimi, a lecturer at the Bamyan University, said the province had special historical importance and was place worth visiting.

But the current situation in Bamyan is “worrisome” in terms of economic problems for the people, according to the teacher, who asked the government to create jobs for the locals and deliver assistance to them.

sa/mud

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