Hyderabad: Salar Jung footfalls drop drastically
Hyderabad: Usually in December, the staff and the tourist guides at the Salar Jung Museum are on their toes as domestic tourists especially from West Bengal and Maharashtra visit the pearl white museum on the banks of the Musi but this time around, there is only a trickle.
The museum opened on November 10 after being closed for months but the number of visitors is nowhere near last year's figure. A Nagender Reddy, Director, Salar Jung Museum says, "The average footfall used to be 3,000 per day but now it has come down to 300. It hovers between 300 to 400 per day." Officials say there are several factors including fear due to Covid, restrictions in travel in certain states, uncertainty and drop in income."
The museum has lost out on two major tourist seasons. First, the lockdown was imposed in March. It is the time when tourism peaks as the schools and colleges have summer vacation and the number of tourists increase in November-December period during winter vacation. On an average, 15 lakh visit the museum per month and the number crosses 25 lakh in summer. Revenue wise, Nagender Reddy says, "It has dropped from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10,000 per day."
The staff comprising 160 including contractual workers have been going about their duties but the most affected are guides. Ali, a guide who now has taken a break says, "It is difficult to make both ends meet. I wish to get back at the museum in a few months time. In the meantime I assist my brother who is into textile business." He goes on to add, "Usually after Diwali, we make good money as the season peaks and goes on till the first two weeks of January. Hope the next year would be better."