Apex industry body Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) on Monday said it has further revised upwards its forecast on Indian tourism’s economic value at risk at up to Rs 15 lakh crore. Its first guidance, which was calculated and shared with the government in March 2020, had put tourism’s economic value at risk at Rs 5 lakh crore from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, FAITH said in a statement. This was revised further during the quarter as the situation deteriorated and the value at risk was put at Rs 10 lakh crore, it added.
“This has been revised again to touch a value at risk of up to Rs 15 lakh crore in terms of the economic output of tourism in India,” it added.
Given the way coronavirus cases are rising, tourism supply chains have broken down in India across all its key inbound, domestic and outbound markets and are not expected to recover for the next 5 months also, making the total impact to a minimum of nine months starting from March this year, the statement said.
This value covers the whole tourism value chain from airlines, travel agents, hotels, tour operators, tourism destinations restaurants, tourist transportation, and tourist guides, it added. “The cumulative job losses for the full year, both in the organised and unorganized category of tourism, could go as high as 4 crores,” it added.
For the survival of the sector, a FAITH spokesperson said, “The tourism sector requires a customized sector-specific relief package, and it cannot be delayed any further.” Among the measures, it is asking for is multi-year moratorium by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on principal and interest payments by tourism, travel and hospitality businesses, and a ‘Tourism Fund’ which can be used by tourism enterprises in India for taking care of their employees, FAITH said. It also asked for an immediate full-year waiver of all central and state statutory liabilities for the survival of the sector.