Vaccinate tour operators, drivers and hotel staff to restore confidence in tourism sector, Center told States
New Delhi, Aug 1 (UNI) With travel, tourism and hospitality among the sectors worst hit by the pandemic and in desperate need of a helping hand for a rapid recovery, the Center urged states to vaccinate tour operators, hotel employees, drivers and other industry players as a priority to restore confidence in the tourism sector.
“We have agreed with state governments that immunization of all tourism-related stakeholders – be they drivers, tour operators, hotel workers, hotel management – should be taken into account. charge as a priority so that we have a feeling of confidence that all stakeholders in the tourism sector are fully vaccinated, ”Tourism Secretary Arvind Singh said.
“It will give a feeling of confidence to customers who want to go to a safe place. If he knows that all employees and people he is going to meet are fully immunized, it will instill a sense of trust,” he said. he adds.
As soon as the first cases of coronavirus were reported in early 2020, the tourism industry started to feel the heat. But as the nationwide lockdown was announced in March of last year, the industry has faced the worst crisis in its history. Millions of jobs were immediately lost. With no hope of a quick recovery in sight, a significant number of tour operators have had to close their stores.
According to a study by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER), 14.5 million jobs were lost in the first quarter (April to June period) of fiscal year 21, 5.2 million during the second quarter and 1.8 million jobs in the third quarter, compared to around 34.8 million (direct) during the pre-pandemic period of 2019-2020.
The government has provided monetary, tax and compliance reliefs to the industry, but they have been called grossly insufficient by tour operators and operators, hoteliers and other relevant stakeholders.
Government relief measures include concessional loans under a credit guarantee scheme, postponement of statutory compliance deadlines and a moratorium on loan repayments.
“Maybe we did not meet the expectations of all stakeholders in society because there were a lot of expectations of additional tax breaks and monetary relief, but the finance ministry and all of us We are in continuous dialogue and interact with the industry. They are taking all the short-term measures announced, then all the measures to be taken in the medium or long term “, declared the secretary of the Union of tourism during an event organized by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) and Export Promotion Council Services.
Due to the overall economic slowdown over the period 2020-21, the tourism economy or tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA) experienced a decrease of 42.8% in the first quarter; 15.5% in Q2 and down 1.1% in Q3, according to NCAER estimate.
Due to a significant drop in tourist arrivals and hence in tourism spending, during the pandemic, TDGVA is estimated to have fallen 93.3% in the first quarter of 2020-21 from its level in the same quarter of l ‘last year. It recovered slightly to post a decline of 79.5% in Q2 and that of 64.3% in Q3.
The tourism sector began to see green shoots and increased demand during the holiday months of October through December of last year with the sharp drop in Covid cases, but with the onset of the second wave of pandemic in April this year, activities practically came to a halt. again. It is hoped that the situation will improve with mass vaccination and herd immunity, but many public health experts have warned of a third wave.
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