The COVID-19 pandemic and the containment rules gravely affected one of India’s most popular tourism festivals in 2020, the Rann Utsav of Gujarat.
Started in 2005 by the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited, the festival showcases the many attractions of the Great Rann as well as the art, culture and cuisine of the people who live here.
Guests stay in a luxurious tent city set up for the occasion in the white desert. The success of the festival even inspired other states to follow suit.
With increase in popularity, especially among international guests, the duration and the content was expanded over the years. For the past few years, the fair was being held for almost 100 days. Usually, the fair is organised between November and February.
Although elaborate arrangements were made for the 2020 season, the fear of the pandemic and containment rules saw lower footfalls compared to previous years. This year, 2,06,056 domestic visitors and 20 international guests attended the festival compared to 4,38,125 and 4.457, respectively in 2019, according to a statement issued by the state tourism minister Jawahar Chavda.
According to the tourism minister, only 25 foreign tourists visited Gujarat in 2020 compared to 6,367 a year ago for events like the international kite festival, Navratri, Rann Utsav, beach festival, etc…