COVID-19 around the world has created a grim situation. In these unprecedented times many industries globally are under immense financial strain. Among other industries Travel and Tourism received the worst blow.

In India Travel and Tourism industry contributes nearly 10% to the GDP. However, due to the pandemic, industry’s overall loss could be estimated of Rupees 5 lakh crore and job cuts for 4-5 crore.

Therefore, the Ministry of Tourism has constituted a National Task Force under the leadership of Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel.

Moreover, A webinar series “Dekho Apna Desh”, can promote Domestic tourism. As according to the Minister of Tourism, domestic tourism is deemed to recover faster than international tourism.

Furthermore, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) attracts a large group of foreign tourists. In order to boost MICE tourism guidelines have been issued.

With a view to revive Travel and Tourism Industry, many states like Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha etc. have laid down their action plan.

Kerala

One of the most noteworthy action plan is that of the state of kerala. Kerala is referred to as the God’s own country. It is one of the finest tourist destinations in India.

Given its past experience with the Nipah virus outbreak in 2017 and calamitous floods in 2018 its Travel and Tourism industry was already strained. In the same vein, COVID-19 was a bitter pill to swallow, especially when the industry was on the path of revival.

Tourist Arrivals

2014
2015
2016
2017
2018

Tourists (Foreign & Domestic)

12618777
13443050 14210954 15765390
16701068

Percentage variation over previous year 7.71
6.73
5.71
10.94
5.94

After the worst floods in the state, kerala, in 2019, recorded highest growth rate in domestic and total tourist arrivals in 24 years. It registered a growth 17.2% as compared to figures in previous year.

However, to cope with and resolve the issues faced by Travel and Tourism industry, Kerala tourism formulated a three – pronged strategy. These are broadly short term, medium term and long term.

In short term strategy, financial assistance will be ensured to those who lost their jobs due to tourism running into deep trouble.

Medium term plan includes Market development assistance in the form of loans, with a ceiling of Rupees 25 lakhs, at very low interest rates.

The long term plan would involve commencing aggressive marketing across the globe.

Other than that relaxation in the fees will be given, which the Industry has to bear when it comes to renewing licenses, time will be given to pay electricity bills.

Apart from this, the Association of Tourism and Trade organisation of India (ATTOI) has pitched its first proposal Kerala kanna, which suggests revival through regional and local tourism.

Under this initiative, around 80 hotels have come together to offer the opening of luxurious hotels and resorts to local tourists, making available the experiences that were for the international guests.

The exaction for a room per night was Rupees 10,000 and above. These will be made available at discounted rated between 30% and 50%. This initiative will allow the inflow of cash required to maintain the staff and property. This proposal is for the Malayali and the details are given on their website Malayaliyathra.com.

The above mentioned strategies can be the first step towards regenerating the Travel and Tourism industry.

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