The coronavirus pandemic has marked a debilitating impact on India’s tourism sector, with the industry estimating a total loss of Rs 5 lakh and job cuts for 4-5 crore individuals.
The coronavirus pandemic could leave more than 38 million people unemployed, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council India Initiative (WTTCII) and the Federation of Indian Tourism and Hospitality Associations (FAITH). The prolonged national lockout could lead to bankruptcies and the closing of various travel businesses, not just mass unemployment. The current scenario is terrible, as airlines have had to shut down operations, especially in the aviation sector.
Covid-19: Implications on the Workforce
The tourism industry ‘s workforce is undoubtedly experiencing some challenging situations with this crisis impacting the economy around the country. Almost every industry has harmed the economic crisis, unemployment, and liquidity crunch, but the travel and tourism sectors tend to be the most impacted. Hotels and companies are not meeting the revenue targets; hence, forcing employers to cut down their workforce. Job titles will no longer exist, and companies will look at three most important values that will determine before creating jobs after BBA – Accountability to boost revenue; Accountability to optimize costs; Accountability to provide value-added governance. The salary adjustment will happen across the fields. It is not what one expects, but what the market can afford. The impact of the deadly outbreak is already witnessed as job losses, and layoffs in the sector have begun. Tourism, aviation, and hospitality bodies have written for interim relief to the government.
Need for Policy Intervention
Urgent need to take any action to prevent the spread of the virus and tackle the main areas of the pain of the workers affected by COVID-19 in the tourism sector. The Federation of Indian Tourism & Hospitality Associations (FAITH), the industry’s umbrella body, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He sought his intervention to help the tourism industry tide the crisis and job search sites. Here are some of the demands that FAITH puts forward:
- FAITH urged the government to set up a twelve-month support fund on MNREGA ‘s lines to support basic salaries with direct transfer to the concerned tourism staff.
- FAITH recommended a twelve-month moratorium on EMIs of principle and interest payments on financial institutions’ loans and working capital, double working capital limits and free interest and collateral terms
- FAITH stated that the government should grant a weighted exemption of 200% for Indian corporations for twelve months for exhibitions, conferences, and incentive trips in India
- For all statutory duties, whether GST, advance tax payments, PF, ESIC, customs duties at the central government level or any state government level, excise duties, levies, taxes, power and water charges,internship meaning in Hindi, bank guarantees and security deposits, and delay of all renewals throughout the tourism, travel, hospitality and aviation industries, it has sought a twelve-month deferment.