With restrictions on travel and movement, no other sector has perhaps been as badly hit as tourism due to the pandemic. As per the Centre, about 21.5 million people working in the sector lost their jobs during the nine-month period from April 2020-December 2020.
In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy said as per a study by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) about 14.5 million people employed in the tourism sector lost their jobs during Q1, 5.2 million during Q2 and 1.8 million jobs during Q3 were expected to have been lost as compared to estimated 34.8 million jobs in the pre-pandemic period of 2019-20.
The minister added that due to significant drop in tourist arrivals and hence tourism expenditure, during the pandemic, it is estimated that the tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA) declined by as much as 93.3 per cent in Q1 of 2020-21 over its level in the same quarter of the previous year. It, however, picked up slightly to post a decline of 79.5 per cent and 64.3 per cent in second quarter and third quarter, respectively.
Relief Provided By Government
Last month, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced some measures to help the industry tide over the crisis. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Sitharaman announced financial support to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides, travel and tourism stakeholders.
She announced that loans will be provided with 100 percent guarantee with a limit of ₹10 lakh for travel and tourism stakeholders and ₹ 1 lakh for registered tourist guides. The government also announced it will issue free tourist visas for the first 5 lakh tourists after global air travel opens up till March 31, 2022.
Almost 11 million foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) were reported across India in 2019. Earlier this year, in a reply to a Lok Sabha question, the tourism ministry said that the foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in nine months to December 2020 stood at 0.21 million, which is down over 97 per cent as compared to the same period in 2019 when FTAs stood at 7.75 million.