As the country faces the grappling situation of coronavirus pandemic, its impact can largely be felt by the tourism sector of the country as the once overbooked hotels and transportations are now experiencing a deserted situation.
The Travel Agents Association of India MP and CG chapter estimate that the industry has already incurred a loss of around 250 crores and this number is not going to get better soon. “Travel industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. Since the outbreak, we have been busy honoring cancellation requests and demanding refunds from airlines and hotels. Being the peak season, the sector has suffered close to 250 crore loss”, says Hemendra Singh Jadon, Travel Agents Association of India MP and CG chapter chairman.
The leading accounting and audit firm KPMG, also predicted that if the ongoing situation prevails, the tourism sector may experience 38 million job losses, which accounts for 70% of the total workforce employed by the industry.
When it comes to survival, all that people care about is the basic requirements and forego the luxury. The summer season was the time when people waited to leave their houses and now they are scared to even step outside. This is the fear that the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus has created and the tourism industry is bearing a huge brunt, especially the hotel and aviation industry, who are longing to welcome a visitor for weeks now.
People who had their tickets booked for domestic and international travel are waiting in the queue to get their refunds on which the travel agents comment that their refund has been stuck with the airlines and hotel irrespective of numerous requests from the customers. However, many airlines are offering to postponement and cancellation with no or little charge.
Although the people from the tourism industry are eagerly waiting for the upliftment of the lockdown and resuming their operations, the will of traveling in people after the lockdown remains questionable. It is also anticipated that when things turn back to normal, people initially might not be comfortable in indulging in big travel plans, however, a few small domestic travel plans can be expected. Also, the approach of various hotels, airlines and travel agents of tackling the current pressure from the customers will severely define the decisions that customers will take in planning their next trip.