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Hotel, tourism sector returning back to normal

The hospitality and tourism businesses that were most affected by the corona are now returning back to normal and is expected to further improve after the relaxations given in the Unlock 4 guidelines.

Despite tourists returning back to hotels, resorts, and hill stations gradually, experts feel that it will take around two to three years for these sectors to be fully back on track.

Former ITC CEO and advisor to the Tourism and Hospitality National Committee of CII, Deepak Haksar told IANS that tourists have started going for outings which have led to the improvement in the tourism and hospitality sector.

He said, “There has been an increase in the number of tourists opting for domestic leisure travel. They have started visiting places Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, etc. which has increased the demand for hotels and resorts in these places. As of now, the industry will have to depend on domestic tourists only as international tourists are still restricted from traveling.”

Haksar said that the hotel business in India is driven by the demand of business travelers and tourists. Apart from this, the business also depends on meetings, conventions, and events that are still under restrictions so the sector will still take time to revive.

The government has allowed organizing social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, and political events from September 21 under the process of Unlock 4, however, the number of people gathering should not exceed 100.

Hotel Association of India Vice President and Emeritus Chairman of Radisson Group of Hotels, South Asia, K.B. Kachroo said the situation has improved during Unlock 3 and 4 as tourists are increasing. The occupancy in big hotels was eight to nine percent before Unlock 1 while it has now gone up to 30-35 percent and in some of the hotels it has even gone up to 60 percent.

Talking about the loss in which the tourism and hospitality sector suffered due to corona, Kachroo said the revenue will fall short by about 50 percent in 2020-21 as compared to the previous year.

Haksar said that the tourism and hospitality sector is expected to revive by 2022-23 as it has already suffered a loss of around Rs 10 lakh crore in the current fiscal.

The hotel industry has also demanded for relief from the government. Kachroo said, “This sector has been worst affected by the corona pandemic, so the government should announce some relief. If the government doesn’t extend help for the sector, it won’t be able to revive.”

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