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About 15 million people in tourism lost jobs in last 4 months

About 15 million people in tourism lost jobs in last 4 months

As the labor-intensive tourism industry—one of the worst impacted by the coronavirus pandemic—gradually gears up to open up, the Centre is looking at various mechanisms to ensure that the infection rate is kept under control while travelers do not have to undergo mandatory quarantine.

While many states such as Uttarakhand have implemented a mandatory Covid-19 test for people coming into the region from outside, the measure may be soon implemented across India.

So, a traveler may have to produce result of the Covid-19 test done just before his/her travel. Failing to do so, travelers will have to get themselves tested immediately on arrival to their destinations.

About 15 million people have already lost their jobs in the last four months. The industry has approximately 85 million people. Tourism in general has many interlinkages to other sectors.

“Tourism sector will also be one of the first sectors to attract income spend. A strong recovery plan for this sector will go a long way in helping it and those dependent on it indirectly as well,” Nirupama Soundararajan, senior fellow & head of research, Pahle India Foundation, said.

As of 2019, 4.2 crore jobs were created in the tourism sector in India, which was 8.1 per cent of the total employment in the country, a report by India Brand Equity Foundation (ibef.org) said. The report added that the number was expected to rise by 2 per cent per annum to 52.3 million jobs by 2028.

“We need to open up the tourism sector at the earliest to protect jobs and livelihoods. We cannot afford to keep hotels and restaurants closed for long as this will severely affect employment,” Subhash Goyal, chairman of Assocham’s tourism and hospitality council, said.

Goyal, who is also the chairman of Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (Faith), has written to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri, urging him to lift restrictions on air travel on both domestic and international routes.

The federation has also urged the Minister to ease the quarantine protocol while increasing the tests at arrival. “Once people undergo tests, they should be allowed to move freely. Only those who test Covid-19 positive should be quarantined. There is no need to quarantine everybody. We have also suggested that the cost of the test can be part of the airfare,” Goyal added..