Founded in 1925 The Indian Chamber of Commerce headquartered in Kolkata, over the last few years has truly emerged as a national Chamber of repute, with full-fledged offices in New Delhi, Guwahati, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi & Mumbai functioning efficiently, and building meaningful synergies among Industry and Government by addressing strategic issues of national significance.
The Chamber organizes around 150 conferences, summits, symposiums concerning various sectors of the economy and leads close to a dozen of bi-lateral trade delegation across the world annually.
Tourism & Hospitality Sector
Tourism – A key driver of economic growth and job creation Tourism has emerged as a key driver of economic growth. It is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors and has a significant impact on trade, job creation, investment, infrastructure development, and social inclusion. Tourism is a major source of employment. It is a labor-intensive sector and has a significant multiplier effect on employment in related sectors. Tourism employs more women and youth than most of the other sectors. Tourism can generate resources for the conservation of cultural and natural heritage and has huge potential to positively contribute to sustainable development goals.
Tourism has been the most affected sector by the Covid-19 pandemic. Travel and tourism alone account for 9.2% of India’s GDP (2019) but plummeted to 5.8% (2021). The tourism sector contributes around 15% to the overall employment in the Country. The cascading effect of the coronavirus has been found to cripple the Indian tourism and hospitality industry at an astonishing pace Post COVID-19, it is highly unlikely that tourism will return to business as usual. Safety and hygiene will become key factors to select destinations.
The hospitality sector in totality is also bearing the brunt of reduced travel. Hospitality companies have seen a 50% drop in bookings within India between March 2 and 9. People are postponing booking plans in large numbers. According to Edelweiss Securities, both occupancies and tariffs have impacted the April-June 2021 quarter but the curve is now showing some upward trend.
Tourism to enhance India’s soft power
Powered by its strong democracy, unprecedented economic growth, deep technological capabilities, and young population, India is an emerging superpower in the World. India's philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' sees the world as one family. It gives India an unwavering belief in multilateralism. India’s traditions of non-violence and pluralism, diversity and tolerance, its yoga and Ayurveda, and its Bollywood and classical dances, are all well known. There is increasing international recognition of India’s cultural and civilizational heritage. The rise of the Indian diaspora to the top echelons of the technology industry and other professions across the world has given great recognition to India. Tourism can truly
Tourism, a Global Opportunity for India
Tourism is one of the largest global industries and a major engine for economic growth and employment generation. Once perceived as an activity for the affluent, today the number of travelers is growing rapidly and many international travelers are from the expanding middle class of large emerging economies. Tourism has become a way of life and millions of new travelers are looking for exceptional travel experiences
As a travel destination, few other nations can offer the diversity of products and experiences found in India. However, tourism in India, though growing consistently, is yet to realize its full potential. The growth of the tourism sector will impact the Indian economy in terms of spreading benefits across the country including remote areas and providing employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to youth, women, marginalized sections of society, and those in the informal sector.
National prioritisation of the sector is critical to ensuring focus, investment, alignment, and competitiveness needed as precursors to maximizing the impact of the
ICC recommends setting up a “Travel & Tourism Stabilisation Fund” with direct benefit transfer to each unit to prevent financial loss and consequent job loss. Each unit suffering loss should claim an equivalent subsidy to the Ministry to help break even and avoid the sacking of a single employee. The claim of each loss-making unit would be verified by a concerned officer of the State Government and once verified the amount needs to be transferred to the account of the unit owner, on the undertaking that no employee is sacked. This fund could be drawn from the Direct Tax Contribution of this sector, supplemented by the Central Government. If this is not taken, we fear, that the economy which was already facing the highest unemployment at around 8%, could slip into recession with unemployment increasing further.
The huge job cut due to the pandemic is especially for unskilled workers. There should be some planning to absorb these newly unemployed workers in the tourism sector itself. Otherwise, this unemployment will create huge social unrest in other sectors of the economy.
ICC thinks Government should employ them as “Tourism Police” in every state to take care of the safety and security of the tourists. The World Health Organisation’s Executive Director Mr.Michael Ryan said that India had "tremendous capacity" to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and, as the second most populous country, will have an enormous impact on the world's ability to deal with it.
ICC also thinks that if a proper strategy action is chalked out and both Public and Private sectors work in camaraderie in sync with this planning, the Tourism & Hospitality sectors would definitely spring back and provide much-needed respite to the entire economy.
Know all the measures recommended by ICC for the travel and hospitality sector to combat the effects COVID-19