Abhinav Goel of Out Journeys said that the SC move would have a “distinct impact” on business. “We got a lot of business on the basis of the 2009 high court ruling. International tourists are strong believers in how the politics and governance of a country shape society. They won’t spend their money where they feel unwelcome. Business would have boomed had the Supreme Courtgiven a positive order,” he says.
By Wednesday afternoon, Sanjay Malhotra of Indjapink had begun to receive emails from his clients expressing concern over the development. “Who would want to come to a country like this? My clients are writing to me to ask if they should reconsider their plans. This changes everything,” said Malhotra, who claims to get about 90% of his clientele from overseas. His company handled about 80 bookings last fiscal year, a 50% jump from the year ago.
The tour operator said he was “disappointed and disgusted” by the court’s decision. For him, the issue went beyond business. “More than business it is the lives of millions that is at stake. Do we go back into our closets now? There has to be a solution,” he said.