The Adventure Tour Operators Associations Of India gave out a statement expressing displeasure at Tourism not being included in Government Relief Package. The President of ATOAI, Capt. Swadesh Kumar said in a statement, “The condition and the mood of the Travel Industry is grim and despondent today. We all know that the pandemic has cast a gloomy spell on the world as economies of almost all countries around us are crumbling. The situation in India has been no different, but rather has been worse than many because our lockdown was announced much in advance, which while surely kept the COVID cases from growing at an early stage but also halted our businesses completely”.
“Tourism contributes almost 10% to the GDP of the country and is one of the major Employers of both skilled as well as unskilled set of people. The Hospitality and Tourism industry generates over Rs. 15 lakh crores and supports over 43 million jobs translating to almost 9 per cent of its total employment. As per a KPMG Report, COVID-19 will cause a potential job loss of around 38 million, which is around 70% of the total workforce of the travel and tourism sector. This, in itself, is a worrying figure – one that can cause irreparable damages to our economy if something is not done immediately to alter the situation”, he added.
ATOAI also reiterated that “Adventure Tourism is the only economic activity, which brings income to the remotest parts of India – where the poorest segments of Indian society live. The collapse of this industry will spell a tragic future for these most downtrodden segments of our society who otherwise have a subsistent livelihood from most marginal farming, especially in the mountains. Things can only move towards being normal once there is either complete eradication of the virus or a vaccine that can save us from its effect – both of which does not seem to be anywhere on the horizon at the moment. Thus, the only hope is the relief from the Government’s fiscal package”.