The tourism economy fell by nearly 43% and an estimated 14.5 million jobs were lost in the first quarter of 2020-21 as the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown decimated the sector which directly employed 34.8 million people in the country the year before, according to details provided by the government in Parliament. The situation improved slightly in the second and third quarters of 2020-21.
In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy said, "As per the results of the study conducted by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), due to the overall economic slowdown during 2020-21, tourism economy or tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA) saw a fall of 42.8 % in Q1; 15.5 % in Q2 and fall of 1.1 % in Q3."
He also said that due to a significant drop in tourist arrivals and hence tourism expenditure during the pandemic, it is estimated that TDGVA plummeted by as much as 93.3% in Q1 of 2020-21 over its level in the same quarter of previous year.
"It picked up slightly to post a fall of 79.5% in Q2 and that of 64.3% in Q3. A significant number of jobs were lost in the tourism sector once the lockdown was implemented. 14.5 million Jobs during Q1, 5.2 million during Q2 and 1.8 million jobs during Q3 are expected to have been lost as compared to estimated 34.8 million jobs in the pre-pandemic period of 2019-20 (direct jobs)," Reddy informed the House.
Earlier this month, a delegation of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) called on Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at her office on Friday, and urged her to increase SEIS duty credit scrips percentage to 10%. The IATO delegation, which met the Finance Minister, was led by its President Rajiv Mehra and Pronab Sarkar, the immediate past President.
Another issue that was taken up was levy of tax collection at source (TCS) on sale of overseas tour package and it was requested that TCS should not be made applicable to persons/ companies who are non-resident foreign citizens/tourists/foreign tour operators located outside India for purchasing tour packages through Indian tour operators for outside India specified clearly.