According to a survey conducted by travel portal BOTT, 45.8% respondents feel group tours would be over for the next 1-2 years due to the COVID restrictions.

Tourists in Hampi townImage source: Ankit via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Money Tourism Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 17:00

As COVID-19 ravages businesses across industries, 81% travel and tourism companies have seen a 100% decline in revenue, while 15% have lost revenue up to 75%. As a result of this, 40% Travel & Tourism companies face the risk of complete shutdown in the next 3 to 6 months while another 35.7% may go for temporary shutdown.

These findings are part of a survey conducted by travel portal BOTT’s Travel Tracker, which was conducted in partnership with India’s top 7 national associations of tourism and travel representing different segments.

The survey found that about 38.6% travel companies are going for job cuts and another 37.6% of the companies are considering the option. In addition, 73% of travel companies have gone for adjustment of workforce including pay cuts, deferment of salaries, termination of contracts, while 67% have gone for steps like reduction of overheads.

The tourism industry has been asking the government for relief over the past few weeks. It expressed its disappointment with the government after no specific relief was announced for the tourism industry as part of its Rs 20 lakh crore package.

"Indian tourism travel and hospitality is said to impact 10-12% of India’s employment which is believed to cover almost 5 crore + direct and indirect jobs. The Indian Tourism industry was looking forward to a deep set of survival measures for tourism from the Rs 20 lakh crore package announced over 5 days, which however were not addressed. The industry has gone numb from a lack of any umbrella direction from the government or without any fiscal & monetary support," the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) said at the time.

About 78.6% of travel and tourism companies expect the government to create a Tourism Relief Fund immediately, followed by 68.2% who want refunds of cancellations and advances of travel agents & tour operators from airlines.

About 67.7% want the government to lower the applicable GST rates by 5% and 54.2% and 49.3% of companies and professionals want a moratorium on repayment of EMIs of principal and interest for term loans for 12 months and deferment of TDS deposit for 1 year respectively.

Speaking about the future of the industry, the survey found that around 45.8% respondents feel group tours would be over for the next 1-2 years due to the COVID restrictions and precautions giving way to more solitary and do-it-yourself travel. While about 44.7% of them cannot say at this moment since the future is uncertain but a mere 9.5% of them think that group tours are not over.

About 61.4% of respondents feel that essential travel will happen first once the Covid-19 lockdown is over followed by 20.3% who believe that business travel will pick up. About 16.3% of them said that leisure travel will rebound first.

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