VISAKHAPATNAM: Braving inclement weather, thousands of people visited popular tourist spots in the agency area on Sunday.
For the first time in 20 months, tourists from West Bengal visited the Valley, tourism officials said here on Sunday.
The manager at Borra Caves Gowri Shankar said over 2,000 tourists visited and a similar number was around Araku Valley, Tribal Museum, Lambasingi and Chaparai waterfalls.
Although Borra Caves was opened on June 5, visitors were in single digits.
“It is the two doses of vaccine that gave the confidence to people to step out of their houses and visit places of their interest,’’ Gowri Shankar said. He added that the number would increase after the monsoon and reach a peak during the Dasara vacation, if the third wave of Covid does not push people indoors. He found that all the visitors wore face masks and maintained social distance without being instructed.
APTDC hotels and resorts registered full occupancy during weekends and remained 60 per cent on weekdays, a corporation official said. He said that more than the outsiders, tourists were from within the State and Hyderabad.
“We developed cramps sitting at home for days due to the lockdown and came out when we got the first opportunity,’’ said Sumit Bagchi, an employee of Eastern Railway working in Kharagpur.
A travel agent said a new trend has begun with groups of youngsters coming on motorcycles and cars. They are keen on rural and agency areas than visiting the city, he said.