No.PR-59 May 7, 2020 New Delhi Tourism Sector has the potential to bounce back soon, Ms. Meenakshi Sharma (IAAS), Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India COVID-19 has caused and disruption in the economy and different industries but sectors like aviation and travel are facing the worse hit. To understand the nuances and way forward, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized an interactive panel discussion webinar on “Way Forward For Tourism Sector Post Covid-19 Era” with Ms. Meenakshi Sharma (IAAS), Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Mr. Suman Billa (IAS), Director, Technical Cooperation and Silk Route Development, UNWTO, Mr. Pronab Sarkar, President, Indian Association of Tour Operations, Mr. Deep Kalra, Founder, and Group Executive, Chair, Makemytrip, Mr. Vikram Madhok, Managing Director, Abercrombie, and Kent India, Mr. Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels Ltd on 7th May 2020. Ms. Meenakshi Sharma (IAAS), Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India thanked PHD Chamber for organizing such a webinar in these critical times on such a significant issue and said tourism is one of the needs of the people on which they rely upon and it will bounce back soon. She also mentioned that the government has been making diligent efforts to fulfill all the demands and issues have been taken at the appropriate forums and departments. We have tried our best to give as much support we can and we will continue to extend our support in the best possible way by giving more reliefs, introducing schemes and initiating projects which help to support the tourism industry revive back its growth curve. Talking about promotion, Ms. Meenakshi Sharma said that the Ministry hasn’t concentrated on promotion but looking at the present situation, we need to come up with attractive and appropriate promotional measures both at domestic and international levels. We have to create destination safe post-COVID-19. We suggest that countries should start issuing some certifications or a safe to travel tag which instills confidence in people to travel to those destinations and slowly yet steady revive tourism in different parts of the country and the globe, said Ms Sharma Ministry has started to work along with State governments to aid the revival of tourism industry. We are at a planning stage for guidelines to ensure maintenance of safety measures in the industry and we are also formulating new initiatives which can help the industry in the best possible way said, Ms. Meenakshi Sharma. Mr. Suman Billa (IAS), Director, Technical Cooperation, and Silk Route Development, UNWTO thanked PHD Chamber for organizing this webinar. He deliberated that the company comes with a package that can support the industry. We are working closely with government and organizations and trying to resolve and overcome the issues and challenges faced by the industry necessary for its revival as tourism creates jobs and job ecosystems. We are optimistic on the bouncing back of tourism sector as it has the flexibility to come back really fast. We understand that the opening of the industry will be tough and slow and we would need to take all the precautions of social distancing, sanitization, and many more when we open up, said Mr Billa He further highlighted that India has a strong domestic tourism market which can be seen as an opportunity in these times. but we need to see the travel precautions and travel restrictions need to be removed slowly so that the spread of the pandemic doesn’t increase. The government should prescribe medical advisories which will be helpful. The tourism industry should plan and strategize so that post-COVID-19 they can bounce back. The other panelist Mr. Pronab Sarkar, President, Indian Association of Tour Operations, Mr. Deep Kalra, Founder, and Group Executive, Chair, Makemytrip, Mr. Vikram Madhok, Managing Director, Abercrombie, and Kent India, Mr. Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels Ltd also Deliberated about the future of tourism industry and how the industry can handle the challenges they are facing along with suggestion measures which can help to sustain the industry in the times of COVID-19. The panelist emphasized that the industry needs to collaborate, explore new destinations to travel which are safe from COVID-19, and look at domestic travels with following the safety and precautions. Dr. D K Aggarwal, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in his presidential remarks mentioned that COVID-19 has affected almost every industry but tourism is facing the worst hit. The tourism industry is facing a revenue and business loss and its concern and we feel that this industry needs to be supported by providing a stimulus package that should be announced at the earliest which needs to be substantial and gives relief to the industries being affected the most. Dr. D K Aggarwal also suggested a few measures like boosting domestic travel, 1-year moratorium, weighted duction from taxable income, and many more which can help the tourism industry to boost in the future along with taking all the measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. Ms. Radha Bhatia, Chair, Tourism Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, delivered a formal vote of thanks to Ms. Meenakshi Sharma (IAAS), Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Mr. Suman Billa (IAS), Director, Technical Cooperation and Silk Route Development, UNWTO and other delegates. The webinar was moderated by Mr. Rajan Sehgal, Co-Chair, Tourism Committee along with Dr. Jatinder Singh, Director, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and was attended by Mr. Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary-General, PHD Chamber and other senior management of PHD Chamber. The webinar received the participation of more than 250 participants which included industry players and other industry stalwarts all around the country. Ends. Media Division PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, established in 1905, is a proactive National Apex Chamber working at the grass-root level and with strong national and international linkages.