Coronavirus outbreak: Visa cancellations trip tourism
The travel and tourism industry could be severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. With the government suspending all visas, the economic impact is likely to run into thousands of crores of rupees. Initial estimates suggest that the sector has incurred a loss of over $28 billion in the October to March period.
In an impact assessment of coronavirus, a CII tourism committee headed by Dipak Haksar, the chief executive of ITC Hotels and WelcomHotel, said inbound foreign tourism is valued at over $28 billion between October and March.
“As the news of the virus started picking up from December, the percentage of cancellations started going up exponentially and is reaching a peak of almost 80 per cent now in March in many Indian locations. The value at risk from this segment will be in multiples of tens of thousands of crores,” the report said.
With India cancelling all visas, the association said the impact “will be worse”.
According to CII, this is the one of the worst crises ever to hit the Indian tourism industry that has impacted all its geographical segments — inbound, outbound and domestic — and almost all verticals — leisure, adventure, heritage, cruise, corporate and niche.
The whole tourism value chain across hotels, travel agents, tour operations, destinations, restaurants, family entertainment venues and air, land and sea transportation have been hit.