October 4, 2020

COVID-19 and Tourism

Tourism is a major driver of jobs and growth. After agriculture tourism plays an important role in the economy of the most of the sovereign states of the world including India. When we talk about word “tourism” it means movement of people from one place to another place for leisure, pleasure, business and other purposes but this movement is on the suspension mode right now due to covid- 19 pandemic.Covid-19 laid its impact on all sectors but tourism is the most worst hit sector in Kashmir and other parts of the world. Tourism has changed remote and backward villages into thriving tourist centres, and tourism has created directly and indirectly employment opportunities to the millions of people throughout the world. It generates earnings for transporters, hoteliers, travel agents, taxi drivers, souvenir-seller, airlines, tourist guides and craftsman, but Covid-19 has dramatically changed the whole tourism industry as it laid huge impact in this service industry I.e. travel and tourism industry .The impact on tourism enterprises and workers is huge and the majority of those shaken by this impact include young men and young women. The tourism industry of Jammu and Kashmir is badly affected by covid 19 pandemic like other parts of the country. In Jammu and Kashmir all tourist destinations, whether it is natural tourist destination, cultural destination, religious destination, adventure destination the operations remained shut since the breakout of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic since last week of March this year. Timely coordinated policy efforts both at international and national levels have to be evolved in consultation with local governments, employers and workers representatives with due consideration to relevant international labour standards. Being labour intensive industry as most of the work is done through people, travel and tourism is facing an unprecedented challenge in the aftermath of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome. The global pandemic has grounded airplanes, shut hotels, and affected the tourism industry in many ways. In Jammu and Kashmir this global pandemic has down hotels, closed tourist destinations, grounded airplanes and affected tourism industry like other parts of the world. However, travel and tourism have also enabled the virus to become a global issue, and reflection on the role of tourism in modern societies is needed. It is the responsibility of everyone to help those hit by the outbreak of the pandemics, and hopefully and those in the tourism field have to update their knowledge and focus on ideas on the impacts of the virus over the future of tourism. We must deal positively with this pandemic to save this industry.
Be confident, be positive, tourism industry will revive once Again, this phase too shall pass??
When we talk about world, tourism is a major source of income in least developed countries, accounting for 9.5% of their GDP and a similar share of employment. With the sector primarily functioning through movement and social interaction, measures introduced by governments to check the spread of corona virus have brought the operations of the tourism industry to a grinding halt. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has said that tourism is one of the most affected sectors after the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic, estimating that in 2020 global international tourist arrivals could decline between 20-30%, from an estimated growth forecast of 3-4% in January 2020. This means a loss of US$30-50 billion in spending by international visitors. For some least developed economies, tourism is likely the worst affected area. Now it is our primary duty to work closely with the operators of the tourism industry to define the evolution of post-Covid-19 tourism. We are optimistic that we will respond to the challenge with some new measures. If we follow guide lines , we are sure to win fight against this pandemic and soon travel markets will open, transport will resume, world travel will start and we will make travel trips to our favourite destinations throughout the world.
( The author is a freelancer. Views are his own) [email protected]

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