The tourism and hospitality industry is one of the worst-hit sectors in this pandemic.
With many of these ventures now opening-up, this report looks at a comprehensive approach and the road ahead for the Industry.
SNEAK INTO INDIA’S HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM INDUSTRY
The Indian tourism and hospitality industry has emerged as one of the key drivers of growth among the services sector in India. Tourism in India has significant potential considering the rich cultural and historical heritage, variety in ecology, terrains and places of natural beauty spread across the country.
Tourism is also a potentially large employment generator besides being a significant source of foreign exchange for the country. As of 2019, 4.2 crore jobs were created in the tourism sector in India, which was 8.1 per cent of the total employment in the country. The number is expected to rise by two per cent annum to 52.3 million jobs by 2028.
During 2019, foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in India stood at 10.89 million, achieving a growth rate of 3.20 per cent y-o-y. During 2019, FEEs from tourism increased 4.8 per cent y-o-y to Rs 1,94,881 crore (US$ 29.96 billion). In 2019, arrivals through e-Tourist Visa increased by 23.6 per cent y-o-y to 2.9 million. International hotel chains are increasing their presence in the country, and it will account for around 47 per cent share in the tourism and hospitality sector of India by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2022
Travel and Tourism being the largest service industry in India was worth $234 bn in 2018. The industry has become the third-largest Foreign Exchange Earner in India with a 17.9% growth in Foreign Exchange Earnings (in rupee terms) in March 2018 over March 2017.
IMPACT OF COVID -19 ON HOSPITALITY SECTOR
COVIS-19 has caused an unpredictable market crisis that any of the sectors has ever witnessed. Undoubtedly, the hardest hit industry is aviation, hospitality and tourism which are interdependent on each other.
Hoteliers anticipate the following months might be tough for the hospitality industry with no definite vision of a recovery.
The ongoing lockdown in the country and pause in all domestic and international travel has impacted all segments — domestic, inbound and outbound; and all verticals – leisure, MICE, heritage, adventure and niche. The crisis has put the tourism business activity of the country, which is estimated at over $28 billion and related activities, to an unimaginable halt.
As per Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH), around 70 per cent out of a total estimated workforce of 5.5 crore (direct and indirect) could get unemployed (around 3.8 crore).
THE NEW FACE OF HOTLES AND DESTINATIONS
With social distancing being the need of the hour, hotels and tourism destinations have changed the regular processes and activities to ensure that least human contact is required.
HOTLES NEED TO TAKE SEVERAL STEPS TO OVERCOME THIS CHALLENGE:·
- Check-in and check-out formalities to be processed digitally.
- Altered the designs of lobbies, restaurants, and banquets making fewer tables available.
- Suspend the self-serving buffets wherever possible.
- Better air circulation systems to increase air quality.
- Hand sanitizer stations at public areas.
- Increase the cleaning and disinfecting frequency especially at high touch places.
- Non cash payment systems.
- Strict hygiene for chefs and employees.
- Screening of customers and employees at time of entering.
Along with lower revenue and the temporary increase in costs related to Covid-19, hotels will have to continue to bear fixed expenses like salaries and general upkeep, which is causing them to worry. Also, there’s no assurance that all the measures to make their facilities safe will ensure a revival in customer’s trust
But these measures will have its own cost and business continuity, cost optimization and return on investment will be major concern for all the investor and firms in the industry.
Author: Somesh Dhanashree