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Lonavala tourist spot hit by swine flu

     Lonavala (Maharashtra): Lonavala's tourism industry has been badly hit by a swine flu scare. The city's civic administration has appealed to tourists to avoid the locality. Somnath Jamble, president of Lonavala Municipal Corporation appealed to tourists, especially from Pune and Mumbai not to head for Lonavala during the weekend. "On August 15, many tourists will visit Lonavala from Mumbai and Pune and we cannot stop them from coming here but we can certainly request the tourists coming here not to come and help us prevent the disease," said Jamble. Tourist officials said the business has gone down by nearly 75 percent. Most of the shops are empty and the hotel bookings have dropped considerably but a few foreign tourists were seen in the city. Ross, a tourist from London said that he was taking basic precautions like using facemask and washing hands. "We are basically avoiding crowded areas and we have masks so if it becomes a bit crowded we wear the masks we take usually measures like washing hands," Ross added. India recorded its first H1N1 case in Hyderabad in May and since then the virus has spread across the country with dozens of cases from Pune itself.
-August 13, 2009

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