Tourism economy fell by 42.8pc, estimated 14.5 million jobs were lost in Q1 of 2020-21: Government
Tourism economy fell by nearly 43 percent and an estimated 14.5 million jobs were lost in the first quarter of 2020-21 as the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown decimated the sector, which directly employed 34.8 million people in the country the year before, according to details provided by the government in Parliament.
The situation improved slightly in the second and third quarters of 2020-21.
In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy said, "As per the results of the study conducted by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), due to the overall economic slowdown during 2020-21, tourism economy or tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA) saw a fall of 42.8 percent in Q1; 15.5 percent in Q2 and fall of 1.1 percent in Q3."
He also said that due to a significant drop in tourist arrivals and hence tourism expenditure during the pandemic, it is estimated that TDGVA plummeted by as much as 93.3 percent in Q1 of 2020-21 over its level in the same quarter of previous year.
"It picked up slightly to post a fall of 79.5 percent in Q2 and that of 64.3 percent in Q3. A significant number of jobs were lost in the tourism sector once the lockdown was implemented. About 14.5 million jobs during Q1, 5.2 million during Q2, and 1.8 million jobs during Q3 are expected to have been lost as compared to estimated 34.8 million jobs in the pre-pandemic period of 2019-20 (direct jobs)," Reddy informed the House.
Earlier in June 2021, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said financial support would be provided to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides, travel, and tourism stakeholders.
She said once the visa issuance for international travel is restarted, the first five lakh tourists will be issued visas free of charge. The total financial implication of this measure would be Rs 100 crore.
The scheme would be applicable till March 31, 2022, or till 5 lakh visas are issued, whichever is earlier. This would incentivise short-term tourists visiting India, she said.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)