‘Risk to tourism is `15 lakh cr’

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), along with cause partner AIRDA, has further revised upwards its value at risk to Indian tourism, pegging it at `15 lakh crore from the earlier `10 lakh crore. ‘Tourism now needs a fiscal and monetary structured package coordinated among all arms of governments,’ it says.

The first guidance calculated by FAITH, which was shared with the government in March 2020, had put tourism’s economic value at risk from this pandemic at `5 lakh crore. The association revised this further during the quarter as the situation deteriorated, and the value at risk was put at `10 lakh crore. Now, this has been revised again to touch a value at risk of up to `15 lakh crore in terms of the economic output of tourism in India.

A statement released by FAITH says, “Given the way the virus is progressing, tourism supply chains have broken down in India across all its key inbound, domestic and outbound markets, and are not expected to recover for the next five months, making the total impact to a minimum of nine months starting from March this year.”

The document highlights that the direct and indirect economic impact of the tourism industry in India is estimated at 10 per cent of India’s GDP. “This roughly puts the full year economic multiplier value of tourism in India at `20 lakh crore. Minimum three quarters of tourism will be fully impacted. This value covers the whole tourism value chain from airlines, travel agents, hotels, tour operators, tourism destinations restaurants, tourist transportation, tourist guides. Each of these segments of tourism is non-performing or under-performing and will stay that way for many months of this year,” the statement continues.

According to FAITH, this trend is evident across all segments of tourism. “Pending refunds for travel agents, shut down or vacant hotels and restaurants, empty or locked down conventions and meeting or wedding halls, no order pipelines for tour operators, tourist transport lying locked in parking lots, laid off or leave-without-pay staff, managers, the summer domestic and outbound holiday season gone, no visible bookings for the peak October-March season, meetings shifted to virtual Apps, non-essential travel closed and so on. Be it leisure (inbound, outbound, domestic) corporate travel, heritage, adventure, meetings and incentives, exhibitions and events religious, spiritual and in upcoming high value niche tourism products such as sea & river cruises, camping, rafting, golf film tourism, jungle tourism, agri-tourism and many more across all states, this will be the worst performing year for tourism in a century,” the release states.

FAITH, based upon its industry estimates, believes that each rupee spent on tourism could have an economic multiplier of upwards of 3-4 times more for India given its most globally unique natural and cultural heritage spread across the Indian hinterlands. The cumulative job losses for the full year both in organised and unorganised category of tourism could go as high as `4 crore.

For over five months, FAITH has been requesting that for revival of any demand in tourism, survival of tourism businesses in India shall be a priority. Listing immediate steps critical to maintaining the survival of tourism businesses, FAITH says that there is a need for a tourism fund, which can be used by tourism enterprises in India for taking care of their employees.

 

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