Impact of Covid-19 in Indian Tourism
Since the outbreak of SARS COV-2 or Novel Coronavirus, the major hit has been experienced in the tourism sector and since the countries started recording many confirmed infections and deaths, the ruling governments have imposed lockdowns and shutdowns of major/all modes of transports. India too when they detected many confirmed cases they imposed various lockdown in the travel industry and mainly the aviation sector which allowed passengers to travel to different destinations worldwide.
India on 12th of March, 2020 made a major move where they suspended visa for people visiting the country for a month and also they even suspended the visa on arrival (VOA) facility for all the nations which had access to VOA facility. To break the chain of community transmission, India denied entry to various visitors from different countries and also people holding Overseas Citizen of India cardholders to enter India until April 15, 2020.
This move has bought an economic impact of thousands of crores of rupees and this is the worst ever crisis to hit Indian tourism sector said an official. Not only did it hit the aviation industry, but it has also hit other travel-related industries too such as hotel, travel agents, tour operators, restaurants, family entertainment sector etc. A total Ban of travel has affected not only the International aviation sector but also the domestic Air, Land and Sea based travel. As an impact, the tourism sector might suffer a loss of around $28 billion on an average said the Tourism Committee.
“As the news of the virus started picking up from November, the percentage of cancellations started going up in this segment exponentially and is reaching a peak of almost 80 per cent now in March in many Indian locations. The value at risk from this segment will be in multiples of tens of thousands of crores,” the CII assessment report said.
Also, the report added, unless the virus stops, the entire year of 2020 will be at risk for the travel-related departments which the tourism sector might take time to recover. The cancellation of foreign visas and Indian’s being told to refrain from any but important travel within the country is a major blow due to the health crisis.
It is said that around 28+ million Indians have travelled outside India in 2019 and there are over 1 billion-plus who travelled to and within the country and as the holiday season begins from April to June/July we might see less of the footfalls happening to the places said one report.
As of last year December which is a peak time for Christmas holidays, the tourism sector had seen a gradual fall of 40-45% and also if the virus persists, we might see 80-100% of a hit due to the pandemic during the holiday season for Indians unless the positive news of cases of virus decreasing will help them to regain the industry step by step.
Speaking about it, Rajesh Magow CEO of travel aggregator website MakeMyTrip said “The period between February till the end of March is typically a lean period because of exam season but we are seeing a demand slowdown for the upcoming summer holiday season, especially for international travel. The situation remains dynamic making it hard to quantify the actual impact on our business and industry at large.”
In addition to that, he mentioned “The decision by the government will have an impact on inbound and outbound international travel. So far there are no restrictions or advisories issued for domestic travel.”
There has been less number of future bookings which usually would be on the rise towards the end of February but reports have suggested that there has been a steep decline on searches and bookings, this suggests that people are taking precautions, and also not taking any risk which is a good sign.
Travel being a major source of Income for many travel-related websites, hotels, places, and bloggers we are all embracing the impact and we all hope that the ongoing crisis would be solved quickly and the normal life to begin as soon as possible.