COVID-19 Crisis: Save tourism MSMEs to save tourism, millions of jobs

MSMEs engaged in India’s travel & tourism business need to be protected from the unprecedented shock of COVID-19 crisis. Any delay will be tragic for the Country’s Tourism Sector that offers millions of jobs.


By Prem Kumar

Coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for every sector of the economy, and tourism is among the most affected sectors. Besides COVID-19 caused demand shock, the tourism sector has been hit hardest due to the nation-wide lockdown clamped to prevent spread the pandemics. The tourism industry is in a coma, airlines are grounded, railway services suspended, hotels empty, buses out of the road, destinations deserted for visits; the scenario is quite gloomy for this labour-intensive sector.

Within the large space of travel and tourism, it is micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) such as travel agents, tour operators, MICE planners and organisers, DMCs, TMCs, restaurants and tourist transporters are among the segments hit the hardest. All these companies have very important roles in managing, operating, and facilitating tourism. These companies work as coordinating agents between customers and suppliers. These companies were already stressed but the COVID-19 global pandemic has been catastrophic for them, most of these MSMEs are struggling to remain in business as no new business, bookings are coming and their cash flows are choked, they don’t have a war-chest to sustain their operations in the absence of cash flow. If MSMEs form the backbone of the economy, MSMEs of the tourism industry is the backbone of this service sector.
In India, across the sectors, there are about 51 million MSMEs operating in manufacturing, services and supply chain sectors.

According to the figures provided by the Federation of Associations in Indian Travel & Hospitality (FAITH), there are 53,000 travel agents, 1,15,000 tour operators (inbound, domestic, outbound), 15,000 adventure tour operators, 2700 MICE organisers, 19,11,000 tourist transporters, 53,000 hospitality and 5 lakh restaurants, all of them are currently facing the heat due to lack of cash flows. COVID-19 Pandemic has jeopardized India’s once hailed 5 lakh crores tourism industry and employment of an estimated 3.8 crore jobs. But now many of them are on the verge of collapse as they were unable to pay to meet their operating costs such as salaries, rents and interests. The immediate challenge before them is to survive this critical time.

There are already talks of the government offering package to MSMEs sectors. Similar financial package must be also offered to MSMEs working in the tourism sector, affected due to the coronavirus lockdown, and the demand shock.

MSMEs in tourism sector employs a huge number of people; therefore, they should not be allowed to get out of the business. They should immediately be offered easy access to credit. Besides financial packages, the government should pledge marketing assistance to these companies to regain market access post-COVID period. During this lockdown, entrepreneurship skills of people running these firms should be improved; professionals employed in these organisations should be engaged proactively, offered additional professional and marketing skills to empower them for the new travel & tourism world post-COVID pandemic. They should be encouraged to adopt more and more technology to reduce their costs and offer better services. Such measures will help boost these companies to gain confidence and resilience. In the good time, MSMEs can emerge a game-changer for tourism if rescued and empowered today. At this critical time, their fate can’t be left to be decided by the vagaries of nature.

Their survival is critical not only for the travel and tourism sector but for the whole economy and society.

About author

TnH Global
TnH Global 4048 posts

Our platform is the most comprehensive, current and accurate content destination for tourism that also offers the opportunity to connect and network with quality buyers and sellers.

Name: TnH Global              Email: admin@tnhglobal.com

You might also like

Trending

Sabre empowers the travel industry to re-imagine lodging with new aggregator content

New lodging solution will give travel buyers access to more than 900,000 hotel choices via Sabre Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, today

Latest

Anantara to Launch the Middle East’s Highest 5-Star Resort

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort to open in July 2016 in Oman. Perched 2,000 metres above sea level on the curving rim of a great canyon, Anantara Al Jabal

Trending

Sabre’s Beyond NDC program enlists travel industry giants to collaborate on development of NDC-enabled solutions

American Airlines, American Express Global Business Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Flight Centre Travel Group commit to Sabre’s innovation initiative as launch partners. Further demonstrating its full commitment to lead

Trending

Singapore Tourism Board connects with travel trade in three cities

2017 was a record year for Singapore Tourism Board – India jumps to third largest source market for visitors into Singapore India has moved up to the third position from

Trending

Radisson Blu to launch property on Hainan Island

Radisson Hotel Group has revealed plans to launch its globally renowned Radisson Blu® brand in Hainan, China with the signing of Radisson Blu Haikou. The new-build hotel, will be strategically located

Latest

GoAir to launch direct Mumbai-Leh flights this summer

Low-cost airline GoAir will launch direct non-stop flights between Mumbai and Leh in the summer schedule, which will begin on March 27. Other than this, the summer schedule will introduce

Destinations

Tourism Minister orders attachment of Director SKICC

The Minister issued the orders in connection with the allegations against the officer(s) for violation of rules and norms amounting to abuse of official position, breach of trust, thereby inflicting

Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur set to open in 2018

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has confirmed plans for Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur, set to open in early 2018. Located in the heart of the Golden Triangle neighbourhood, Kuala

Trending

Budget 2017: No ‘achhe din’ for Mumbai’s local train commuters

Arun Jaitley allocated Rs 1.31 lakh crore for Indian Railways, however there were no major announcement to ease the travelling experience of Mumbai’s 75 lakh train commuters. Union Finance Minister

Argentinian important trade mission in Ireland and Scotland

INPROTUR introduced our tourism offer in Dublin and Edinburgh! The Argentinian Ministry of Tourism, through the National Institute of Tourism Promotion (INPROTUR), carried out an important commercial mission in Dublin,

Trending

The Fern Residency opens in Miramar

The Fern Hotels & Resorts added another hotel to its kitty by opening The Fern Residency Miramar, Goa. Earlier the same property was known as Mystique Heights Beacon. Now it

Latest

Abu Dhabi posts record numbers of hotel guests in 2017

Emirate sees 9.8% year-on-year rise to 4,875,499 guests A record 4.875 million people stayed in Abu Dhabi’s 162 hotels and hotel apartments during 2017, meaning the emirate recorded an impressive

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!