Ticket sales at monuments, including Taj Mahal, Red Fort and Ajanta and Ellora Caves fell hugely from Rs 336 crore in 2019-20 to a little over Rs 40 crore in the year 2020-21 that saw lockdown restrictions and travel bans due to the Covid-19 pandemic, data from the Ministry of Culture showed.
In response to a question from MPs Chandeshwar Prasad, Vinayak Raut and Rekha Verma, Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy’s written reply said there were 1.19 crore visitors at the Centrally-protected monuments and ₹40.32 crore in revenue in 2020-2021. In 2019-2020, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) monuments had seen 4.82 crore visitors that brought in a revenue of ₹336.23 crore, while in 2018-2019 there had been 5.31 crore visitors and ₹317.20 crore in revenue. While the ASI maintained 3,693 monuments across the country, 143 of them were ticketed, an ASI official said.
Replying to another question by MPs Bhagwant Mann and Vijayakumar alias Vijay Vasanth, the Minister said the Centrally-protected monuments, including the World Heritage sites, were closed for 61 days from April 16 to June 15 during “lockdown 2.0 in view of COVID-19 situation”, referring to the second wave of the pandemic earlier this year.
“The estimated loss of revenue due to closing of ticketed monuments in view of imposing of lockdown 2.0 [(Covid-19 situation] is approx. ₹35.40 crore, the calculation is based on revenue lost due to lack of sales of tickets,”he replied.