Post COVID-19: What is the Way Forward for Tourism?
Web panel discussion held
The India PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) held a web panel discussion today, May 8, 2020, on the subject of the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus on travel and tourism. Industry leaders were provided the opportunity during this lockdown period to look ahead and air their views on this vital subject. Radha Bhatia said it is also the chance to educate students and plan how to handle the situation on the tourism front once COVID-19 moves out of the way.
D. K. Aggarwal, President of PHDCCI, kickstarted the webinar and panel discussion on the “Way Forward for Tourism Sector Post-COVID-19 Era.” He pointed out that COVID-19 started as a health crisis and lead to a major economic crisis. The one sector affected the most is the tourism sector.
The web panel discussed that the industry has to be nurtured and needs support from the Government of India and the Chamber. An increase in promotional budget allocation to boost domestic tourism was a key point raised.
Suman Billa, Director – Technical Cooperation and Silk Road Development of the UNWTO was concerned that the impact of the pandemic is open ended, however, the jobs at stake will quickly have a rebound effect. The tourism industry has been extremely favorable towards women and will continue to do so, he said.
Pronab Sarkar, President of IATO, expressed that he has not seen such a crisis in his 45 years of being in the industry. He strongly feels that the pandemic peak has yet to come and that challenges are high, but India will come out of it.
Deep Kalra, Founder and Group Executive Chairman of MakeMyTrip, visualizes that driving holidays will be preferred over air or rail travel due to social distancing and safety. MICE and corporate travel is expected to see declines whereas leisure travel will see a rise and will be the main segment to focus on post COVID-19.
Radha Bhatia, Chairperson of the Tourism Committee of PHDCCI, emphasized an interesting aspect and said that a key task is to educate the students through educational institutes about the tourism products that India has on offer. The State Governments should share interesting facts through attractive visuals and videos and spread awareness about India and various places that can be explored by a traveler.
It is clear that a new India will be born with a new strategy and new initiatives in place. Hope and positivity prevails for the tourism industry.