Travel & tourism post-covid: Coronavirus has influenced the tourism sector drastically all over the world. Whether it is aviation or hospitality, transportation, tour operators or eateries, every activity related to tourism has been adversely affected in an unprecedented manner. In India, the sector was affected the most among all other economic sectors. After October 2020, the industry showed some signs of recovery, but the dream was short-lived and the sudden surge in cases from March 2021 onward slowed tourism activities almost completely except for a few special occasions in select locations.
The hospitality industry in India shrunk at an alarming rate of 65% in the financial year 2021. For hotels, the occupancy level hit 18% while revenue per available room declined by almost 80%. The National Restaurant Association of India estimated that almost 40% of restaurants in the country have closed down since 2020.
Post reopening, restaurants complied with every safety regulation issued by the health ministry making dining out as safe and comfortable as possible. Just when it seemed like the restaurant industry was limping back on its feet, the second wave introduced restrictions critically challenging the survival of restaurants.
Tourism contributes an estimated 10% of the Indian economy and is torch-bearer of Brand India across the world. It can also be an engine to revive growth as it offers great opportunities for employment.
Out of 140 countries, India ranked eighth on cultural resources and business travel, 13th on price competitiveness,14th on national resources in world economic forum’s travel and tourism competitiveness report 2019. Despite these rankings, India’s overall tourism competitive ranking at 34 reveals that we have not marked the precaution assets embedded in our heritage to their full potential as other countries do.
Coronavirus outbreak has an unforeseen impact on our lives, livelihoods, societies, economies, and a growing risk of massive loss of jobs and global recession. The top concern of the hospitality industry is ensuring the safety of staff and the guests.
But slowly and smoothly India is coming back to track after June 2021 and again becoming a significant travel destination to everyone. The Travel and Tourism Council estimates that the travel and tourism sector’s real contribution to GDP will reach US$ 393.7 billion by 2030.