New Delhi, Sep 3 The hospitality and tourism businesses which 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 has 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 of hotels and resorts in these places. As of now the industry will have to depend on the domestic tourists only as international tourists are still restricted from travelling." Haksar said that the hotel business in India is driven by the demand of business travellers and tourists. Apart from this, the business also depends on meetings, conventions and events which are still under restrictions so the sector will still take time to revive. The government has allowed to organise 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 situation has improved during Unlock 3 and 4 as tourists are increasing. The occupancy in big hotels was eight to nine per cent before Unlock 1 while it has now gone up to 30-35 per cent and in some of the hotels it has even gone up to 60 per cent. Talking about the loss which tourism and hospitality sector suffered due to corona, Kachroo said the revenue will fall short by abour 50 per cent in 2020-21 as compared to previous year. Haksar said that 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 a 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 extends help for the sector, it won't be able to revive."
September 23, 2023