Stays, jobs and host families have become the watchwords of the tourism sector in 2021, with tourists preferring safety and functionality to luxury in their post-Covid holiday destinations, with the sector struggling to recover from the hard blow of 2020.
With the Omicron threat looming on the horizon, fears of a grim 2022 have come to haunt stakeholders.
Financial situation: In 2019, India’s tourism and travel ecosystem directly and indirectly supported nearly 50 million jobs and nearly $ 200 billion in gross domestic production. While 2020 has been almost a complete erasure, 2021 has seen pockets of recovery, but only in very select parts of the hospitality industry and restaurants in certain parts of the country. For tours and travel agents, 2021 continued to be another year of no-business desperation.
Aashish Gupta, consultant CEO, FAITH, the political federation of all national associations representing the entire tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India, said the industry looks forward to the resumption of flights in December 2021 to see some commercial traction. As of March 2020, inbound tourism has been closed and the resumption of flights, as previously announced, was a silver lining, he said.
“This has been the worst two years on record for the tourism industry and any support for tourism businesses is vital,” Gupta said.
He said incomes for inbound Indian tourists were nearly $ 30 billion before the pandemic. The period between October and March which is the main season has been entirely lost in 2020 and half of that season lost in 2021.
” In 2022, to save some business and have cash flow to support employment in tourism, this sector will look forward to a very early review of this decision to extend flights, if we hope that the omicron variant does not constitute not a serious threat.
“Almost all countries would now be competing for inbound tourism so it is also essential to restart our global tourism marketing campaign to start raising awareness. In addition, it is also important to create a full set of export incentives in the forthcoming foreign trade policy for foreign income members of the Indian tourism industry, ” Gupta said.
However, some reinventions of the industry have worked wonders, although it is not clear whether it has really worked enough in terms of income generation.
According to OYO’s fourth annual year-end index – OYO Travelopedia 2021, 65% of respondents in India have traveled in the past six months and the majority of them have visited their loved ones, while some are went to get away from their daily routine and traveled for leisure.
Almost 27 percent took a one-month internship. Hill stations topped the list of places for these work and travel trips, followed by many who have visited their hometowns and beach destinations.
In fact, the tourism ministry is tailoring its promotional campaigns to highlight stays, focusing on host families providing personal care and a local experience to tourists after the COVID-19 pandemic, ministry officials say. .
While we saw a demand for such foster families just before the pandemic, now it’s through the roof. We adapt our promotional campaigns to promote host families. Tourists no longer want big hotels. They want large open spaces, personalized care and want to discover the local flavor. We also promote stays, ”Rupinder Brar, additional director general of the ministry, told PTI on the sidelines of the Tourism Mart which was held recently in Nagaland.
Government demands: In its pre-budget recommendations to the Ministry of Finance, the industry called for the industry to be allowed to carry over existing eight-year trade losses to 12 years and to avail of India’s export services program / export promotion. Benefits of capital goods (SEIS / EPCG) without cap or rate reduction.
He also urged the government to extend the export obligation period under the EPCG regime and grant export status to the industry, include hotels and tourism-related sectors in the National Infrastructure Pipeline. (NIP) and put special emphasis on the promotion of meetings. and conferences in hotels.
They have also lobbied for the long-standing demand for infrastructure status to be granted to the hospitality industry and are offering special tax incentives for domestic travel.
The association also called on the Center to reconsider its decision to introduce LTC cash vouchers instead of the LTC fare to government employees to boost domestic travel and help the hospitality industry on the road to recovery.
What the Tourism Department has done: The Tourism Department regularly runs activities and promotional campaigns with a particular focus on social media in states and abroad to revive and support tourism, officials said.
A 24-hour multilingual tourist helpline, electronic visa facilities for 156 countries, training for the creation of a pool of certified tour operators and new regional routes for better air connectivity are among the measures taken. to stimulate the tourism sector, which contributes to employment creation.
Market Development Assistance (MDA) guidelines for promoting India as a tourist destination have been revised to benefit more tourism stakeholders, the Chamber was informed. The ministry also launched the Dekho Apna Desh initiative, encouraging domestic tourism.
The ministry also organized webinars, quizzes, discussions and roadshows to stay in touch with stakeholders and encourage citizens to travel around the country.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)