Hospitality Industry Looking To Regain Momentum
Ambrosia|January 2021
It’s been a roller coaster ride for the hospitality industry in 2020, but will 2021 see more accelerated movement upwards. A comprehensive view of the hospitality industry as it tries to regain lost ground.

The Indian hotel industry is among the sectors that have been impacted the earliest by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic on account of its inextricable linkage with travel and tourism, especially foreign travel and tourism, which evidently bore the first brunt of the global crisis.

Likewise, it may be among the last sectors to recover, considering that due to its nature, travel and tourism is a discretionary activity. Additionally, with corporate entities all over the world getting acclimatised to interacting internally or externally in a zero-cost work-from-home mode, the resumption of business traffic, even in the event of the pandemic abating, is expected to be tardy.

India's hospitality and tourism sector suffered three-quarters of economic wipeout estimated to be up to `15 lakh crore, and the industry is desperately looking forward to government support to survive and recover in 2021.

This was the worst three quarters ever for the tourism industry over a century and this is expected to play out till another two quarters till vaccine is deployed across all source and destination markets, Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) Chairman Nakul Anand told PTI.

The Indian hospitality industry along with tourism has been one of the key segments driving the growth of the services sector in the Indian economy. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the Indian travel and tourism sector contributed about US$ 194 billion during CY2019 contributed about US$ 194 billion during CY2019 contributing around 6.8% of the country’s GDP. Out of the 185 economies, India stood 10th in terms of the size of travel and tourism spends during 2019.

Mr. Kausshal Dugarr - Founder and CEO of Teabox, India's luxury premium tea brand, points out, from an online perspective, this has been a phenomenal year for us. Our sales have gone up three-fold, particularly during the July-September quarter. The second quarter and in fact, the whole festive period has been the best in Teabox history. We have benefitted enormously from a five-year head start we had in the industry. As the entire tea business looks to pivot online post-Covid, we have been able to take advantage of our solid online presence across the world; particularly in India where the traditional model of doing business saw serious impediments in terms of transport, logistics, storage, closure of brick & mortar stores owing to the pandemic and a long and inefficient supply chain. We, at Teabox, have been able to take advantage of the widespread adoption of technology particularly during this post-Covid period and with the help of social media, we have been able to engage with our customers in a whole new way - authentic messages over email, social media advertising, innovative videos and From the Source messaging. We want to remain focussed on our core mission - To deliver the freshest teas in the world and ensure our customers have the same experience every single time. This pandemic has changed consumer behaviour and forced the tea industry in a way to adjust to the new reality - where purchasing tea online in direct-to-consumer transactions or via online marketplaces viz. Amazon, Bigbasket, Flipkart has become the norm even in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across the country. We want to leverage the significant online advantage we have in the industry and in the process, acquire new customers, open their minds to the world of speciality teas and maintain their loyalty by giving them an experience that they have not had before. Going forward, we expect online to pick up even more and brands like us are looking at new ways of interacting with our customers.

The latest report launched by the national industry body, The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) along with the YES Bank- ‘Rethinking Domestic Tourism in Post-Covid World’ gives an insight on the various aspects on the travel and tourism industry and the steps taken by the various central and state government to revive the tourism sector.

The report reveals that the GDP contribution of Travel and Tourism will contract by as high as 62% across the world. “In this direction, the Government of India has structured several initiatives and relief measures to boost the tourism in India. Some of these initiatives include Atmanirbhar Bharat, Dekho Apna Desh Series, SAATHI Initiative, Launch of NIDHI, Cross Border Tourism and bubble arrangement for visas,” the report mentions.

United National World Tourism Organization (WNWTO) has projected that the tourism recovery to pre-COVID levels could take at least four years.

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