A break from monotony, a way of recreation, and for some, a way of life - traveling to our favorite destinations has always been something we look up to. However, in the era of a pandemic where the most essential way of sustaining life is to lock ourselves at home, the tourism industry has been knocked down into a crisis.
On March 24, 2020, when our Prime Minister announced a nationwide lockdown to control the outbreak of COVID-19, almost all the industries suffered a massive blow, including tourism. The tourism sector which depends on travelers from different parts of the globe was left barren when all transport services were temporarily shut.
With the measured “unlocking” of the economy, the tourism sector has also rolled up their sleeves to come in tow with the “new normal” situation- providing contact-less sanitizer dispensers, face shields and masks, and marking positions to stand in a queue to keep the tourists 1 meter apart. But all these measures fall short in attracting tourists at a time when people want to be extra cautious.
The gradual reopening of every sector has not given much hope for the tourism industry. Recreational traveling is not an essential service and thus people are avoiding travel as much as they can till the pandemic is completely eradicated, which might not happen anytime soon.
The tourism industry has been one of the prominent contributors to India’s GDP. India’s tourism sector ranges from ecotourism to film, rural, religious, medical, and much more. According to the Indian tourism statistic, the annual growth rate of international tourism receipts (US$ Billion) is 7.2%. The total contribution to GDP is expected to grow up to Rs. 32 Lakh crores in 2028. In a country where tourism is diverse and celebrated, the sector also provides employment opportunities to millions of citizens every year.
The current pandemic threatens this growth. The simplest solution to this issue, keeping in check one’s individual safety, could be to revisit local tourist attractions. Traveling longer distances could prove risky but a small trip to the nearby museum, monuments, or other tourist spots, taking care of all the safety precautions, could help the industry get back on track and continue generating revenue.
This article has been written by Sakshi Baoker for The Paradigm
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