Ushering Revival on World Tourism Day 2020

BW HOTELIER got in touch with travel and hospitality associations to gage their view on how domestic tourism can salvage the unprecedented situation that the travel and hospitality industry is currently in. What are the latest initiatives that associations have taken to promote domestic tourism? And finally, their message to the industry on World Tourism Day 2020.

2020 edition of World Tourism Day, with the theme of “Tourism and Rural Development”, is being celebrated, showcasing   the unique role that tourism plays in providing opportunities outside of big cities and preserving cultural and natural heritage all around the world

Subhash Goyal, Chairman - STIC Travel Group
Hony. Secretary, FAITH

Govt should give incentive for domestic meetings

Domestic tourism and regional tourism is our only hope which could sustain the tour operators and the tourism industry and for this, it is very important that there should be a free movement between all the states and those who carry negative Covid report, there should be no quarantine for them in any state. Moreover, government should give incentives for domestic meetings and conferences and all hotels should be allowed to hold meetings and events with 50 per cent of their capacity, maintaining social distances.

Schools and college students should be encouraged to travel from one state to another.  All travel agents, tour operators who are recognised by the Ministry of Tourism should be allowed to do LTC Tours which are now limited to only two government companies.

Stay United, Stay Safe and do not give-up hope

My message to the travel industry on World Tourism Day is to stay united, stay safe and do not give-up hope.  There is nothing to celebrate on World Tourism Day but we should all resolve to observe it as a safe tourism day and all segments of the tourism industry from airlines - their staff, hotels – their staff, travel agents and tour operators – their staff, transporters, tourist guides etc. must all collectively with one voice appeal to the prime minister to save this industry, thereby saving millions of jobs and the economy of this country.

Learn to live with this

I also appeal to the government to start all international flights and trains maintaining social distances with all precautions because we all have to learn to live with this disease, otherwise, more people will die of economic starvation than are dying with Covid-19.  We should not give-up hope even though this is the darkest period in the history of tourism, but darker the clouds are, the bigger is the sunshine after that.  So, let us all remain united, hopefully and confident!

Jyoti Mayal
President, TAAI

Maintain new norms of travel

India has everything to explore - adventure, wilderness, mountains, beaches, heritage, culture, wellness, rural tourism and much more. This can all be experienced by maintaining the new norms of travel and tourism - social distancing, hygiene and sanitisation. 

Looking for support from the government

We have been working very closely with the Ministry of Tourism at the center and states to bring in reforms, guidelines, skilling, incentivisation, to strengthen all avenues of tourism. Also with the Ministry of Aviation and airlines in opening of flights, suggestions on more airports to be opened destination specific, suggestions on RT-PCR/AntiBody/Antigen testing to generate confidence and bringing in the correct procedures both for travel and tourism. 

Solidarity, Sustainability and Safety

We have lost six months of our lives to this catastrophe and hope and pray that we can come out of these challenging times, healthy and safe. On this World Tourism Day, there is nothing to celebrate but to dedicate ourselves in reviving the travel, tourism and hospitality industry and to pray for all the Covid fighters who have succumbed to the virus, and for the all the doctors, nurses and medical institutions who have fought selflessly for our safety and good health. We need to learn from them to fight for the survival of this industry. 2020 World Tourism Day We at TAAI dedicate it to Solidarity, Sustainability and Safety to reconstruct a New World of Tourism

Madan Prasad Bezbaruah
Secretary General, HAI

Base tourism on sustainable experiences

Tourism, brought to a standstill by the pandemic , celebrates the World Tourism Day  with the understanding that the new tourism will have to be based on creating experiences that are sustainable, that are responsible for the environment around us and that respect the bond of man and nature. Tourism had minor hiccups earlier --SAARS, Tsunami, 9/11, the Financial Crisis -- but the eternal wanderlust in men makes tourism bounce back. Now globally with 100 to 120 m tourism jobs at risk, loss of US$ 910 to 1.2 trillion in tourism spending and 1.5 per cent to 2.8 per cent global GDP loss, the picture is grim.

 But bounce back it will, on the springboard of domestic tourism.  Until confidence builds up international travel will be slow to pick up. People will start with short safe journeys exploring unexplored destinations in the neighbourhood.  Innovations, and technology will drive tourism growth and imaginative development of destinations that are safe, hygienic, easily accessible should be the essential framework of tourism recovery plan. There are thousands of places around in India rich in history, culture, mythology and natural beauty but are little known. It is time to build tourism on such assets, spread it far and wide --into the rural areas, off the beaten track so that tourism enriches the tourist's experiences, the communities and the environment.

Amaresh Tiwari
Vice Chairman, ICPB

Need JUSTICE for tourism industry

As most of the travel pandits are saying that short term survival of Indian tourism industry is dependent on domestic tourism.  But are we really prepared? Is this possible to change the DNA of your organisations, work force, mission, vision for short terms with aggression to gain market share and survive in this unprecedent time. The answer is NO specially for intermediaries who are not domestic tour operators. For the safety purpose most of the people are travelling by their own vehicle and booking accommodations directly with end suppliers. None of the major inbound, outbound operators claims that they succeeded in domestic segments and growing. Most of the operators are waiting for situation to become normal and focusing on core business only and creating new products, upskilling the knowledge, etc. There is no mechanism developed by govt or any agency to present the blueprint to succeed.

MICE is always dominated by domestic conferences, meetings, events, exhibitions and I am happy to inform that ICPB members adopted well. Earlier with offerings the virtual technology to associations, corporates and other meeting planners and organisers and now with hybrid version where up to 100 pax physical events and rest all buyers-sellers meets and conferences on virtual platforms. Similarly, the scope of MICE has widened and now social events like destination wedding, cultural events and sports events, also ICPB is trying to bring under MICE fold.  This will certainly give MICE industry an edge to survive and thrive.

World Tourism Day is a day for all policy making bodies like MOT, Niti Ayog, Ministry of Commerce, Finance and above all Hon’ble PM of India shri Narendra Modi ji do JUSTICE for tourism Industry. Tourism Industry contribute 9.2 per cent of India’s GDP and 10 per cent of employment and not getting any urgent attention. The need of the hour is, let Prime Minister of India give at least One (1) hour of his time directly, out of 87600 allocated hours he is having on confirm basis. Mr. Prime Minister, industry needs your one hour for direct interaction. We deserve atleast 0.001 per cent attention.

Pradip Lulla
Acting President / Vice President, TAFI

Tourism supports millions of people globally

Tourism globally has to be revived with a new set of rules and responsibilities. Hope till the vaccine and the cure reduces the fear of travel the assurance of containment and the immediate health care will revive tourism slowly but steadily. My prayers and good wishes to revive economically the global tourism which supports millions of people and infrastructure on this world tourism day. 

Gurbaxish Singh Kohli,
President, HRAWI,

Vice President, FHRAI

Government support needed

Tourism plays a unique role as a promoter and preserver of natural and cultural heritage. Unfortunately, the govt fully knowing our contribution to the GDP and employment still chooses to ignore this important sector which single handed has the potential to drive economic development. In the previous year there were 11 million inbound and 22 million outbound tourists. Obviously due to a clamp down in foreign travel we can attract the 22 million outbound to travel within the country. For this, the govt has to participate by opening travel and by creating consumer confidence, realise the importance of the sector and open up. Take a page from Dubai, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives and start thinking towards opening the economy up. This will create demand and the vicious circle of the economy will start rolling.  

Make guests confident to travel

This is one of the most unprecedented times we are witnessing. Consumer confidence is at an all-time low. We need to attract the guest, make them confident of visiting us and traveling by ensuring we convey, we are following all the protocols of hygiene, distancing and sanitsation. Indian Hospitality will have to reimagine and reinvent themselves and bounce back. We need to promote the unique ability of hospitality and tourism to create opportunities and jobs.

Pronab Sarkar
President, IATO

Save businesses and save jobs

Domestic Tourism will build confidence among travellers, that shall resonate globally that India, following the new normal, is a safe tourist destination. Will bring money in the hands of the tourism stakeholders, from airlines to hotels to monuments to places of sightseeing-to food outlets-to guides -to transport operators - to shopkeepers – ushering in an all abiding inclusive socio-economic growth.  The twin challenges in the survival stage are to save businesses and save jobs. On the demand side, India has a robust domestic market which could soften the impact, it may well serve as the lifeline of the industry. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention and tour operators will need to adjust their lenses to nearer destinations.

Efforts to promote domestic tourism

IATO has constantly pursued with the Centre and State Governments to ease out interstate and intrastate travel.  Our support to the 'Dekho Aapna Desh' campaign pioneered by Ministry of Tourism has motivated our members to explore new destinations, co-create holidays with farmers and rural India. Our State Chapters are promoting domestic tourism in their own region, with the support of their respective state government. Our members are actively looking at especially places within 5-8 hours of driving time. Road trips, staycations, trips to lesser known places and away from cities (to avoid crowds), wellness resorts and destinations to attract more travellers interested in improving their mental and physical well-being.

The industry is bleeding and under stress

Today our guardians of tourism – the government of India, needs to usher in quantum parenting, handholding to take the stakeholders of tourism away from the throes of distress, agony, job losses and closure of business. The industry is bleeding and under stress. Series of survival and revival measures as requested by IATO and other trade bodies are still pending with our government.

We know human health is prime and appreciate the efforts of the Government and still we urge and appeal to our dear and respected Honourable Prime Minister to save the families whose sole bread earner has lost his job and faces the stark realities of helplessness, despair, hunger with nowhere to go.


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