While normal life had come to a grinding halt due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was the travel and tourism industry which was hit the most. The travel industry is looking at bankruptcies, closure of businesses and mass unemployment. Travel agent’s capital has been wiped out, income and wealth has been eroded, agents are closing down their business, have sacked their employees and the morale of the travel agents has been lost to an industry which contributes 10% of the GDP.
With placards written Save Tourism & Support tourism, save hotel industry, Save Tour Operators & Support Travel Employee’s, Travel Industry Matters, Hotel Industry matters, Say No to OTA’s And Support Your Local Travel Agent, Promote Andhra Pradesh, Promote Indian Domestic Tourism, people from the travel and tourism industry gathered at RK beach road.
The travel agents said that the coronavirus has throttled the travel industry and the cascading effect of the virus has crippled the industry and they have never seen a meltdown of this kind. It is only the travel industry which virtually shut down much early than any industry and is still shut down.
Revenue & Losses to the travel agents in the state of Andhra Pradesh:
Travel agents only include people who sell holiday tour packages for inbound, outbound, domestic and adventure tour operators (does not include transporters & Cab Operators). Travel agents opine that the need of the hour is the support from government in form of some concessions and immediately bailing out the travel Industry.
“There are about close to 1,000 travel agents in the state and us as an association has 400 plus members. The travel agents in the state of Andhra Pradesh have had a revenue loss of Rs.2,000 crore because of the COVID and we will be losing Rs.3,400 crore by the year-end, and losses of approximately Rs.25 crores per month. We are not expected to revive before the year-end and we are expected to have a cash loss of about Rs.275 crores this year,” stated K Vijay Mohan, President of Tours and Travels Association of Andhra (TTAA).
“Even and after the situation comes into control, the recovery will still take at least 1 year. The stakeholders alone will not be able to recover without financial relief from the government. The whole tourism value chain across hotels, travel agents, tour operations, destinations, restaurants, family entertainment venues and air, land, sea transportation have been hit,” added Mohan.
Mohan further said, “We have now taken the agenda on promoting our state and domestic tourism to push and stimulate tourism and take an aggressive marketing and promotional plan. We have also requested the state government to declare travels as an industry.”
“We have also requested the central and state governments to bailout package based on the GST each travel agent paid over the last 1 year and bring in a new regulation in income tax with an exemption on spending on domestic tours under 80C up to Rs.50,000/-. To ban LTC abroad which is being availed by Banks & PSU’s and to push inbound tourism we have requested waiving of airport terminal fees, discounted landing and parking fees for airlines “to keep their costs low and pass on savings to consumers.” Also, the temporary waiving of visa fees for countries, temporary deferment of applicable taxes on designated stakeholders for a predetermined period of time.
On September 15, the TTAA members have taken up this initiative by meeting at the following designated places.
Tirupati- At the foot hills of the Tirmula entry.
Visakhapatnam – Opp the Submarine at I Love Vizag.
Rajahmundry – Godavari Ghat at I Love Rajahmundry
Vijayawada – Krishna at I Love Vijayawada
Guntur – Taj Residency
The members of TTAA will also send a representation to the PMO and the CM to request to save the travel agents/tour operators and support the travel industry.
CLICK HERE !! To be found on google search engine
Get 30% OFF on Dynamic Website Design