Traveling is usually a leisure activity for many people. All the traveling we can ever dream of is planning out a vacation or a solo trip to unwind from the tangles of our hectic work commitments and sedentary lifestyle. We often fail to observe that we get a chance to travel. Does it feels affected now due to the pandemic? Not just yours, even the travel providers are suffering from it. Let us know how is pandemic affecting travel and tourism industry!

Most of us, despite using ‘wanderlust,’ ‘traveler,’ and all the spectacular terms related to traveling to describe ourselves. We tend to sulk and show utter reluctance to travel for a business meeting in a different city. The people who get to travel by default, the norm in their work profile, are partially fortunate. Suppose we choose to slide a time slot specifically dedicated to exploring the destination. As we visit with a business purpose, I am sure we will be more zealous, productive, and be earnest employees. Travelling has so many aspects that can be fruitful if unveiled in the best interest of trade, development, and overall growth in all walks of life.

How is pandemic affecting travel and tourism industry?

The ongoing pandemic has taken a severe toll on humankind, remorselessly affecting all the resources on which it depends. Due to the prohibition on workforce mobility and goods worldwide, trading has been halted for the past four to five months in India. The massive downfall in the world economy and the GDPs of various countries has left a magnanimous negative impact on society’s overall structure. 

Following conditions were observed during the traveling phase in lockdown:

India’s government had imposed a very strict lockdown across all its states and union territories, post which they were forced to proceed with reasonable norms for the upliftment of the lockdown imposed. This might stabilize the trade and economy with slow and steady measures. India is currently in the ‘Unlock 4.0’ phase, and there are minute changes in the rules and regulations for trade, business, and travel. Here is how you can travel in lockdown, following all the rules.  

Some traveling restrictions due to corona: 

  1. All the citizens shall strictly adhere to the curfew rules on mobility if applicable, after which hefty charges may get imposed on the individual violating the same.
  2. Older people, pregnant ladies, and minors are to stay home and not travel, exclusive of any medical emergencies.
  3. A very few sectors of the working class individuals have been allowed to resume their on-field projects. The government is still emphasizing on ‘work from home’ culture for all other industries. 
  4. There shall be a mask mandatorily covering the people’s face, failure to which, can cause a hefty fine. Public places will not be crowded and only a limited number of people will be allowed to gather for occasions or functions.
  5. Most of the IT companies are expected to resume working with a limited employee count only.
  6. Public modes of transport, eateries, hotels, and lodges are opened for stay. However,  they still have to follow the strict sanitization and no-contact rules for protection from COVID.

Inter-District traveling restrictions due to corona

Interdistrict traveling is still an issue by the state governments, keeping in mind the outrageous spread of COVID 19. Interdistrict traveling norms are easing down to allow private vehicles and cabs to cross the district boundaries without a pass. The states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh have not eased inter-district traveling rules. Hence, a travel pass is strictly a must.  

Inter-State traveling restrictions due to corona

Post the ‘Unlock 1.0’ decision, some states’ boundaries have been opened to allow migrants to return to their native places. Inter-State traveling is only possible if you have a travel pass and a valid reason for the travel. On the peak of the outrageous spread of COVID 19, the borders are sealed with the neighboring states. It depends on mutual decisions to temper down the spread of the disease. Some classic examples include Karnataka – Maharashtra, Karnataka – Tamil Nadu, Gujarat – Rajasthan, and Gujarat – Maharashtra. 

How pandemic affects tourism industry? 

For tourism industry owners, COVID 19 has been no less than a horrible dream come true. The tourism industry face tremendous losses, unlike industries trying to get back in business and applying business strategies to revive their economy. The travel agencies have collapsed since the inception of the lockdown. The high number of cases provide absolutely no light at the end of the tunnel.

The problems below are severe for the agencies:- 

  1. The pre-booked flight, train, and bus reservations off-air suddenly by the clients. That’s already a huge loss to cope up with.  
  2. There is a considerable increase in insurance rates and debts without recovery through actual business.
  3. The vehicles available for hire are not in use for many days, and hence restarting them will involve a considerable maintenance cost.
  4. The traveling goes on by some reduced number of people, thus still causing losses than expected income.

The travel agencies are appealing for government relief measures, along with contention for road tax, insurance claims, and some subsidies for rental vehicle loans.  

How pandemic affects transportation and tourism industry? 

The tourism and transportation industry appears to look glum globally as it is one of the most revenue-generating industries in any country. Indian tourism contributes to 10% of the country’s total GDP. Moreover, the stagnancy of the business of the industry is a significant reason for concern.

The tourism industry and transportation industries are sailing in the same boat of losses. An impromptu cancellation of pre-planned national and international tours occurred. High insurance debts, the bankruptcy on a large scale, loss of tour guides’ jobs, and their strikes in the same concern are going on. And also, the average time to cope up with loss are some of the significant issues. These were the crucial facts on pandemic affecting travel and tourism industry.

Traveling restrictions due to COVID

The government has allowed inter-district travel with the assistance of the aviation industry to take maximum precautions. The local trains and buses are not yet available to help people travel from one place to another. Personalized vehicles and cabs are moving as a transport mode with an e pass in the hotspot areas.

People who have a career in the tourism industry are not receiving their salaries for the past four months. Some are leaving their respective travel agencies, owing to the recession in the industry. Some have raised their voices against the injustice and have appealed to the government for reasonable norms in their support.

E Pass/ Medical certificate 

E pass can be issued from the website for whatever period you need. The coronavirus outbreak can only vanish by maintaining social distancing. Hence, the provision of an e-pass makes it easy to tackle the situation. An e pass only clears in cases of essential service providers or medical cases.  

Towards the conclusion

Life is very unpredictable. None of us knew that life would seem like this. So many of us had summer plans, which we had to cancel owing to some commitments. But at the end of the day, we all regret and find it challenging to adapt to this new normal. This pandemic has made us realize that you don’t just need cash to travel. Most of us need to prioritize traveling and enjoy and cherish every single chance we get to explore a new destination. These were the facts on pandemic affecting travel and tourism industry.

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