Rs 20-lakh crore package: Tourism industry’s hopes for survival measures dashed

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on May 17, 2020 Published on May 17, 2020

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), the policy federation of all the national associations representing the tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India (ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI, IATO, ICPB, IHHA, ITTA, TAAI, TAFI), says the Indian tourism industry has gone into a state of disbelief and shock.

The industry was looking forward to a set of survival measures from the Rs 20-lakh crore package announced over five days, which, however, were not addressed.

Tourism, Travel and Hospitality have an almost 10 per cent impact on GDP, both directly and indirectly. It has already seen over one-quarter of accumulated losses, which began from February.

FAITH noted that no cash inflow is expected for many quarters over FY 20-21, as the key segments of the tourism economy will be down. International in-bound tourists, in-bound and VFR (visiting friends and relatives), and outbound travel will remain mostly non-performing due to international flight restrictions and the tragic impact in most key tourism markets of India.

It further revealed that domestic and corporate travel in the country may ease up post lock-down, but will be highly restricted due to the fear of travel among elders and children, the new social distancing norms, corporate travel freeze and the closure of the holiday season. This will impact all leisure, adventure, heritage, spiritual, cruise, and niche tourism segments.

The meetings, incentives, exhibitions and events segments will be impacted due to size restrictions, the association stated.

FAITH said it had proposed a dedicated interest and collateral-free long-term fund for paying salaries. This included operating costs and a minimum of 12 months of complete waiver of fixed central and state statutory and banking liabilities, without any penal or compounding interest. However, the proposal was not acknowledged.

FAITH & its 10 member associations (ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI, IATO, ICPB, IHHA, ITTA, TAAI, TAFI) were in constant dialogue with the Centre over the past 10 weeks. The PMO and ministries of finance, commerce, aviation, and tourism, RBI, and all 28 Chief Ministers, Niti Aayog and the Empowered Group 6.

Indian tourism, travel and hospitality are said to impact 10-12 per cent of India’s employment, which is believed to cover almost 5 crore direct and indirect jobs.

The industry has gone numb from a lack of any umbrella direction from the Government and without any fiscal and monetary support.

With no cash inflows, the industry is looking at large-scale bankruptcies and business closures, which will lead to job losses across cities, towns, and the hinterland.

Published on May 17, 2020

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