21.5 million lost jobs in tourism sector, says Centre

Significant job loss due to lockdown, Tourism Minister tells Rajya Sabha.

With the tourism industry among the hardest hit due to the pandemic, it is estimated that about 21.5 million people working in the sector lost their jobs during the nine-month period from April 2020-December 2020, as per the data shared by the government recently.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy said 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 were expected to have been lost as compared to estimated 34.8 million jobs in the pre-pandemic period of 2019-20,” the Minister said.

Mr. Reddy said this was one of the key findings of the study done by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) for the Ministry of Tourism to assess the extent of losses to the sector.

As per the report, due to overall economic slowdown during 2020-21, tourism economy or tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA) saw a fall of 42.8% in April-June 2020, 15.5% in July-September 2020 and fall of 1.1% in October-December 2020.

“Due to significant drop in tourist arrivals and hence tourism expenditure, during the pandemic, it is estimated that TDGVA plummeted by as much as 93.3% in Q1 of 2020-21 over its level in the same quarter of previous year,” the Minister stated, adding that it picked up slightly to post a decline of 79.5% and 64.3% in second quarter and third quarter respectively.

However, Mr. Reddy added that the Tourism Ministry did not maintain data on revenue generated from tourism.

Replying to another query, the Minister said no formal study had been instituted by the Ministry to assess whether the movement of people from all States increased at tourist places, which might raise fears of the increase in COVID-19 positive cases after the second wave.

Further, Mr. Reddy said that as per the Bureau of Immigration, the number of foreign tourist arrivals in India stood at 10.93 million in 2019, declining to 2.74 million in 2020 and about 0.42 million till June 2021.

According to the data compiled by the Ministry of Tourism, domestic tourist visits during the calendar year 2019 stood at 2321.98 million and in 2020 at 610.21 million.