Everybody has probably heard that the travel and hotel industry were most badly hit due to the pandemic. However not many people know that the worst could be yet to come for the hospitality sector in India.
During the second wave of Covid-19 in India many businesses had to shut down their operations. Many small and midsized hotels and restaurants were forced to close down due to shortage of funds and lack of revenues. Recently Hyatt hotel had to temporarily cease operations because of lack of finances.
Many experts are warning of a third wave in the country. Could the hospitality industry survive another wave and another lengthy lockdown? It was seen during the second wave how quickly the virus could spread within the population and how quickly things could get out of control such that the various state governments were compelled to announce strict lockdowns.
Even if India does not experience another deadly wave, the hotel industry would probably need another year or two to return back to normal operations. They may also need lot of support from the government. Every state may have to aggressively promote its tourism and hospitality industry so that the ecnomic recovery of the industry could be speeded up.
With many internation travel restrictions in place, maybe it is time to promote domestic tourism. This could help the travel and hospitality sector to at least start generating some amount of revenue and prevent further losses and get back on its feet.
The government recently announced free issuance of 5 lakh tourist visas. This could be a step in the right direction, however safety will remain a primary concern. These visas may only be given to those tourists who are vaccinated.
For the hospitality industry to recover fast it would need the help of the government in the form of proper management of the spread of new variants of the virus so that the country does not face similar situation as happened during the second wave. The government and the public’s timely and sensible actions to prevent uncontrolled spread of the virus could be the deciding factor for the country’s hospitality sector.