The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic affected the global hospitality industry the worst, and India is no exception. The hospitality sector in India provides millions of Indians employment across the nation.
The series of lockdowns and ban on tour and travel has put a halt on the economic activities relating to the industry, putting 38 million jobs on the verge of collapsing.
The recent ₹20 lakh crore package announced by prime minister Modi to give stimulus to the economy raised high hopes of the industry that they would be given support by the government to survive the critical condition. However, the Hospitality industry in India is left disappointment as no fund has been allocated by the finance minister to help the sector.
The body of inbound tour operators, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), has urged the government to provide an economic package to the sector as soon as possible. The sector contributes over $30 billion to the GDP of India and is expected to reach $50 billion by 2022. With the ceasing of economic activities of the sector, India is expected to lose $5 trillion in revenue this year.
IATO has also asked the government to refund advancement payments made via tickets for airlines, luxury trains, and wildlife safari, amongst others. Moreover, the policy federation that represents the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry in India, Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) has also raised its concern and has asked the government for providing relief to the sector.
The federation in a recent statement stated that, “Indian tourism travel and hospitality is said to impact 10–12% of India’s employment which is believed to cover almost over ₹5 crore direct and indirect jobs. The industry has gone numb from a lack of any umbrella direction from the Government or without any fiscal and monetary support.”
Amidst such unprecedented difficult times, the hospitality sector is on the verge of complete collapse. Although the decision of the government to allocate 20 lakh crore stimulus package to boost the economy is appreciated, the exclusion of the hospitality sector could prove to be suicidal.