Coronavirus has brought the tourism industry to a total standstill. This fatal virus has immense capacity to bring a pause to the functioning of the entire world. It has devastated some of the most powerful nations such as Italy, America, and China. Coronavirus has affected more than 140 countries, and people are dying in thousands. There is no cure for COVID-19 yet, and scientists and ruling nations are finding themselves absolutely helpless in front of this raging pandemic.
How fatal is Corona Virus?
COVID-19 spreads from one person to another by means of touch or close contact. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, the droplets can remain suspended in the air for a maximum of 2 to 4 hours. If it falls on any metal surface, then it can stay there for several hours before getting destroyed. Since a person touches several things millions of times day, hence the risk of contamination is extremely high.
Corona is an absolutely new type of virus, with some similarities to H1N1 and SARS. But the worst part is that there is no cure or vaccination available for this deadly virus. If a person gets contaminated by Coronavirus, the only thing that can save and recover him is his robust immune system. There is absolutely no medicine that can help in recovery. COVID-19 is taking a toll on aged people, kids with low immunity, and adults who have some chronic diseases. Coronavirus attacks the respiratory system of a person and destroys him from within.
How to deal with COVID-19
The only way to deal with the pandemic is to maintain a social distance. Hence India and many other countries have ordered a complete lockdown. People all over the world are locked inside their own house, praying for the ordeal to get over soon.
Impact on tourism industry
COVID-19 has grave consequences on several sectors, including economy, health, technology, and so on. But the tourism sector is perhaps the worst-hit industry in the world. It is entering into a great crisis because the duration and scope of Coronavirus are totally unknown. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) have together asked the tourism sector to take “measured, consistent, and proportionate” steps keeping in mind public health.
Airlines, hotels, cruise operators are facing a hard time because of the COVID-19 outbreak. As the news of the Coronavirus started to spread across all the news channels, panic-stricken travelers started to cancel tours and trips. Public events, concerts, IPL cricket match, everything got canceled. According to the IATA or International Air Transport Association, the global air transport revenue will experience a downfall of over 5% this year. Even the stock market is not favorable for major airlines, hotels, tourism operators, and so on.
The pandemic can put a whopping 50 million jobs in the travel and tourism sector at risk. Thirty million people alone in Asia will lose probably lose their jobs. 7 and 5 million in Europe and America respectively, and the rest in remaining continents. Asia is going to be the worst affected continent during this crisis. Can the consequences be graver? It totally depends on how long the pandemic continues, and if somehow it can be exacerbated. It is highly essential that once the pandemic is over, there should be a simplification of visas, cutting down on travel taxes, the introduction of incentives, and so on.
Airlines and cruise ships are more badly affected because of the Coronavirus as compared to hotels.
Impact on Indian tourism
If we talk of India specifically, the Indian tourism industry, too, is going through a strenuous time period. The different geographical segments that it offers-outbound, inbound and domestic as well as the different tourism verticals such as adventure, leisure, heritage, cruise, MICE, corporate as well as nice segments, all have been badly hit by COVID-19 outbreak.
The visa cancellation, as well as complete lockdown in the country, has severe impacts on the travel and tourism industry. Destination weddings, family trips, honeymoon trips, business meetings everything has been canceled because of this deadly pandemic.
Coronavirus is proliferating at a rapid rate and is engulfing in several countries. Without any cure or vaccination against it, the medical world is feeling helpless. COVID-19 is gradually ruining the global economy. It has put a full stop on travel and tourism activities. The hospitality sector, too, is facing a downfall. The situation is getting out of control with each passing day. The only thing we can do is to be patient and stay hopeful that this, too, shall pass.