Bringing the world economy to its knees, the Covid-19 pandemic had a major devastating impact on the tourism and hospitality industry. Being one of the first sectors to be affected by the pandemic, it is expected to be among the last ones to recover completely.
Tourism and hospitality industry has been battling the worst crisis with a lot of hope from the Union Budget 2021-22 for its revival. Along with several other service sectors, it is deemed as the second major contributor to the country’s GDP. It also employees over 8.78 per cent of the country’s population.
In wake of the major damage caused to the industry due to the pandemic, hotels were recognized as one of the most severely impacted segments by the Reserve Bank of India. Statistics of the Hotel Association of India (HAI), the apex organization of the Indian Hospitality industry which represents 300 hotels across diverse categories, show that the industry has suffered an estimated ₹90,000 crore revenue loss in 2020. However, the increasing number of successful vaccination drives and revival in the domestic tourism sector brought the much-needed cheer in this worst-hit industry to an extent.
While the Budget 2021-22 did not have much in store for the tourism and hospitality industry, the allocation of funds for road infrastructure is expected to increase mobility among the states, giving the much-needed impetus to domestic tourism. Industry experts at Orrisa Stevedores Limited (OSL Group) deem the investments in road infrastructure as a significant demand booster in the tourism industry. Led by Mahimananda Mishra, OSL Group is a widely-known and trusted name in the tourism industry with several subsidiaries like Grand Tours & Travels, Mayur Agencies and Travel Link.
The proposals laid out in the Budget 2021-22 for enhancing rail, road, ports, metro lite infrastructure & PPP in buses, airports and ports including vista coaches in tourist routes, come as a favorable move for the tourism and hospitality industry in the long run. While the industry hopes for a quick revival, these steps along with the government’s support are sure to bring it back to normalcy by the end of this year.