Representative image.(Image source:Wikimedia Commons) Photograph:( Others )
Just when the situation was normalising and the tourism industry was coming back to normal, the Omicron variant emerged, hampering all these plans
Once booming Indian tourism industry has been hit hard by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The deadly coronavirus has forced many people to cancel their travel plans, massively impacting the tourism industry.
Just when the situation was normalising and the tourism industry was coming back to normal, the Omicron variant emerged, hampering all these plans.
Ever since the pandemic started, the Indian tourism industry has seen a massive dip in the number of international travellers. The industry is now heavily dependent on domestic travellers.
Travel trends have seen a huge change in the past two years, owing to the rising Covid cases.
Indian travellers now, are more interested in quick getaways within India rather than international trips. Also, health and safety have now become a primary concern for travellers.
As per a report by the UN World Tourism Organization, international travel will not recover fully before 2024. The foreign tourist arrivals were down by 63 per cent at the end of 2021 from the pre-pandemic levels. The report stated that India was 96 per cent below its pre-pandemic numbers till June 2021.
The foreign tourist arrivals for the first 11 months of 2021 is only 11.08 lakhs. This is lower than the number of arrivals in the month of January 2020 alone, reveals data from the Ministry of Tourism.
As cases of Omicron surged in the country, the tourism industry witnessed 30 per cent cancellation in January. Various Indian states imposed restrictions to curb the spread of the variant. This is what further contributed to the increased number of cancellations.
While speaking to a local media outlet, an executive from Yatra.com said that the travel restrictions imposed by Indian states like Goa, Delhi, Maharashtra and Kolkata have had the biggest impact on cancellations. Several tourists have reached out to the website to seek assistance in rescheduling their tickets.
Before the pandemic, tourism was one of the most important sectors of the Indian economy. In 2019-2020, the tourism sector is estimated to have directly contributed 2.7 per cent to the GDP and 6.7 per cent to the employment of the country.