At a time when most people seem wary of traveling, the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) has said that momentum in the tourism industry in India will likely pick up after the pandemic is over. As of now, they state that loss in revenues in the coming year fall between Rs 72,000 crore to Rs 1.58 lakh. The main factor is a simple one – the pandemic and how it’s slowed down the tourism industry on a global scale.
Interesting Indian Tourism Statistics
There is a reason for worry, as the travel industry in India contributes to the GDP. The government has even taken several support measures to help build and promote this industry. Check out some critical India tourism statistics 2020:
- Tourism adds a GDP of 9.20% rate in 2018, an increase from 2017’s 6.70%.
- In 2019, the industry created 39,821 million jobs attributing to 8.0% of total employment.
- The pandemic has cost the industry a total loss of Rs. 1.25 crores in 2020.
- A new report states that the pandemic impacted 50% of the industry in early 2020, and expects it to be higher at 70% in 2021.
The altered trend in India’s tourism industry
The WTCC (World Travel and Tourism Council) stated a loss of 50 million jobs globally, affecting the tourism industry in India. People are not thinking about holidays any time soon and until we have a vaccine, the industry will move at a very slow pace. At the same time, a few noticeable trends are evolving within the industry as the new year rolls ahead.
All international borders have been closed owing to the lockdown and travel restrictions set up by other nations as well. Overseas travel has stopped but the domestic travel scene in the travel industry in Indiais still active and as such, remains an area of focus for the industry.
Then, there is a reduction in the number of business-related travels in the tourism industry in India. This is because most of us have replaced regular business travel with online Microsoft Teams or Zoom meetings. Global events, gatherings for conferences, exhibitions, meetings, entertainment, or festive occasions have stopped and will stay inactive for a long time.
Booking transparency has picked up the pace and will now be used to boost traveler confidence. Travelers want the assurance that they can cancel tickets, hotel rooms, reservations at moment’s notice. As a result, travel organizations, companies inside the travel industry in Indiaare guaranteeing refunds, reviewing pricing policies too.
Contactless technologies are in big demand as it fits the social distancing norms. Travelers now prefer using an app to book their hotel rooms, pay for services, or buy tickets.
Notes from the tourism ministry of India
Authorities of thetourism industry in India state other than these new trends, movement at a greater scale in the industry is not likely to happen any time soon. Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog CEO stated that experiential tourism will help the industry to recover in the post-Covid-19 era. He and several other authorities are relying on the states with a rich cultural heritage for this revival.
He mentioned that the crisis is temporary and that the travel industry in India will pick up as long as there is that desire for people to explore. Of course, that exploration has to be undertaken very safely. Kant describes that this crisis provides the travel industry board with opportunities to discover new ways to revamp operations and create a seamless experience using technology.
Kant stated that technology is critical for this rejuvenation, with eight of the fastest-growing companies being largely technology-driven. But all changes do come with a host of challenges – he says that travel agents, tour operators will have to adapt somehow, introducing new technology, building new business models, integrating digital, mobile mediums.
Post pandemic travel relief measures provided by the tourism industry in India
The IATO or Indian Association of Tour Operators had requested the government to provide relief some time ago. Many tour operators in the travel industry in India had to lay off many employees after they suffered a massive business impact.Employees that were lucky to still have their jobs, saw their salary taking a massive cut.
One relief was a financial grant for funding the 2018-2019 gross salaries of staff. Tour operator services were even granted an increase in the SEIS (Service Export India Scheme) to 10% to prevent liquidity problems. The latest is the Vaccine Passport, a travel document that is essential for traveling around in 2021.
New vaccine passport for International Travel
In the last year, we saw many technology groups, companies developing apps for people to upload their tests, vaccinations for COVID-19 to be used to gain entry into various public places and countries. This new vaccine passport is a mobile app to prove that you have been COVID-19 tested. It’s a health pass works by:
- Uploading all COVID-19 related information about yourself like tests results, vaccination records
- IBM developed their ‘Digital Health Pass’ that you can use to scan upload all COVID-19test results, even temperature checks.
The CommonPass app is made by the Common Trust Network where you upload your medical data. Then the app generates a QR code once the uploads are verified for use with authorities.
The vaccine passport is a smarter way for the government to identify people who are protected against the virus. The World Health Organization says that it isn’t enough evidence to prove the effectiveness of the ‘risk-free’ certification that this passport gives you. They even mention that it doesn’t work against, or prove reinfection of preventing transmission risks.
As the world moves on in the pandemic era, people will only want to travel cautiously. The travel sector can reboot its business, but at a very gradual pace and adapt to the travel and tourism trends as they appear. The government has done its part in giving out various policies, protection methods so that operators can work through the lockdown; and these same procedures can now be seen in various tourist attractions and hotels.