For the second year in a row, the tourism industry expects a complete cancellation as early bookings are canceled, once again, due to the surge in Covid-19 cases. With estimates on the loss to the industry ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 500 crore, insiders say it will be at least two years before things return to normal for them.
Tourism, along with the hospitality industry, has been one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic. Now, for the second year in a row, as travel becomes restricted and full lockdowns become more common in the states, people have started to put aside summer vacation plans.
The summer seasons of April and May are generally the peak months for the industry as schools are closed and many people are traveling with their families.
Prabhulal Joshi, chairman of Maharashtra Tour Organizers Association, pointed out that the industry envisions another year of losses due to the second wave of infections, which began to take its toll just as tour operators and tour operators started. to look forward to a normal season. âAfter October things had improvedâ¦ reservations had also started for the holiday season from April to May. But everything is at a standstill again, âJoshi said. The combined loss to the industry is estimated at nearly Rs 200 crore, he said.
For tourists from Maharashtra, Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh are the most preferred vacation destinations, Joshi said. With every tourist booking in another state, more than 30 indirect jobs are created in the destination state, he said.
âConsidering the complete collapse of the sector, the number of job losses and financial hardship created is immeasurably huge,â Joshi said. Besides tour operators, taxi owners, hotel owners, tour guides and others have also suffered in the past two years. Many medium and small tour operators have closed their doors, unable to withstand two consecutive years of losses, Joshi said.
Bahram P Zadeh, president of the Association of Travel Agents of the Indian Section of Pune, said this year that he hopes the tourism sector will revive. âAlmost 95% of the bookings were for national tours, but all were canceled,â he said.
The area faces a grim prospect as people will think twice before traveling now. âWe believe it will take at least two years before people regain their confidence to travel,â Zadeh said.