A spectacular view of the Oberoi Rajvilas hotel in India's Jaipur . Photo: Courtesy of the Oberoi Rajvilas

India’s tourism industry is hoping for a recovery as daily Covid-19 cases decline in number and vaccination drives pick up. Expectations are that the forthcoming October-December festive season will provide an additional boost.

The Confederation of Hospitality, Technology and Tourism Industry has said that restart of tourism will help kickstart recovery and growth, Press Trust of India reports. After working from home for months and travel restrictions, many people are now looking for getaways.

“The travel sector, especially domestic travel, appears to be heading for a comeback. Indian travelers are looking for quick getaways through road trips, weekend breaks, and staycations that offer local stay experiences,” said Amanpreet Bajaj, general manager of Airbnb India.

Rohit Kapoor, CEO of OYO India & South-East Asia, said the travel booking trends indicate that in a year “we will be witnessing the best phase for the travel sector. The demand we are witnessing is fairly distributed and holiday patterns have changed tremendously.”

Industry leaders also say that people are increasingly making environment-friendly choices when traveling. MakeMyTrip co-founder Rajesh Magow said, “The pandemic has helped promote environmental awareness amongst travelers and, today, it’s encouraging to see people actively seeking sustainable travel choices.”

Bajaj said that travelers are also becoming increasingly aware of sustainable travel and are making environment-friendly choices when traveling.

Travel operators claim there is a month-on-month increase in travel bookings, ever since the Covid-19 second wave began tapering off after peaking in the April-May period. Hotel bookings have been on the rise with the easing of lockdowns in most parts of the country and operators are anticipating a festival season rush.

Foreign tourists

India is looking to allow international tourists after a gap of one-and-a-half years. The date and modalities for opening up of the country to foreign tourists are being discussed by Home Ministry officials with all the stakeholders, The Indian Express reports.

Job losses

Travel and hospitality ranked among India’s worst-hit sectors during the Covid-19 countrywide lockdown from March 25 to May 25 last year.

According to the National Council for Applied Economic Research, in the fiscal year 2020-21 the sector lost 14.5 million jobs in the first quarter followed by 5.2 in the second and 1.8 million in the third quarter.