For the Indian economy to touch the $5 trillion mark, tourism sector needs to be boosted as it is labour intensive and has a multiplier effect on the economy. About 10 million people have either lost their jobs or are on leave without pay as veracious Covid 19 induced restrictions have been put in place since last year.
The Indian tourism sector has underlined the need to start issuing e-tourist visa while opening scheduled international flights as the peak tourist season begins from September.
“We need to act now before it is too late. The tourist season in India is from October to March and we need not to lose this opportunity in the year 2021 since year 2020 was a total wash out,” Subhash Goyal, President, Confederation of Tourism Professionals said in a statement.
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In 2019, India earned $ 3.1 billion in foreign exchange from the period January to December and received more than 10 million tourists.
International tourism accounts for almost 10 per cent of India’s GDP and approximately 11 per cent of direct and indirect taxes, Goyal pointed out.
The hospitality and tourism industry is one of the largest employment generating sector with 58 million people engaged directly. About 75 million people are engaged indirectly with tourism in India.
“Covid is going to stay and we have to learn to live with it. Just like Africa allows people with yellow fever vaccine to travel, similarly, we should allow fully vaccinated international tourists to travel to India and Indians to travel abroad to the countries which are open to Indians via schedule flights,” Goyal said.