The Indian tourism sector witnessed about 14.5 million job losses in Q1 of FY2020-21. The sector saw 5.2 million jobs being lost in Q2 and about 1.8 million in the third quarter. However, the details regarding whether these were temporary or permanent losses, is not available.
Tourism Ministry, however, is promoting domestic tourism via the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ campaign, while maintaining precautions and guidelines. Through this campaign, it is hoped that the trust in the tourism industry will be recreated and re-established soon. About five lakh free month-long tourist visas are expected to be given out once visa issuing begins.
This move is hoped to benefit over 11,000 registered tourist guides and others earning their livelihood from the tourism sector. Loans up to Rs 10 lakh will be made available to various travel and tourism stakeholders, while guides will be able to get loans of up to Rs 1 lakh each. All processing charges will be waived off along with foreclosure or prepayment charges. No additional collateral will be required either.
The reason behind the job losses in the tourism sector is the restrictions on travel and international flights, which has discouraged foreign tourists. There was a 76 per cent fall in foreign exchange too.
Data based on a study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research shows that the slump in the economy that followed the lockdown and pandemic-related restrictions led to a dip in the tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA) to 42.8 per cent in the first quarter, 15.5 in the second quarter and 1.1 per cent in the third.
This fall in the number of foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) resulted in a fall in tourism-related expenditure, which caused TDGVA to dip to 93.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2020-21 over what it was in the same quarter in 2019-20. Things did start looking up for a little while, with the figure improving to 79.5 per cent in the second quarter and then 64.3 per cent in the third.