Andhra Pradesh tourism yet to make a come back

 Tuesday, October 20, 2020 


Tourism sector is among the worst-hit by the pandemic, and is still struggling for a bounce back, while cinemas are yet recover and run like before.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the fundamental slogans of ‘Service with Human Touch’ and ‘Service with a Smile’ – two mottos on which the tourism and hospitality sector thrives. Touch is not a preferred practice anymore and those few smiles left around are now hidden behind masks.

The rapid spread of the virus has ravaged economy swiftly changing our lives forever. Those associated with tourism are of the opinion that in order to survive this crisis, revive businesses and thrive again in the industry is the biggest challenge ever!

“All tourist destinations in the State have reopened this month but where are the people?” said S. Prasanth, the president of the Hotels and Restaurants Association of Andhra Pradesh (HRAAP).

Most hotels reopened in July or August; however, there has been very less or zero business. “We tried talking to our corporate clientele but they said unless the COVID-19 vaccine comes out, nobody is ready to take risk,” rued Mr. Prasanth.

The pandemic has forced around 20% of the hotels in Andhra Pradesh to shut down permanently while another 10% have closed their shutters to reopen in the next financial year.

Public response to the unlock process is very slow, Mr. Prasanth said. “It’s over three months that the hotel industry has started operating but we have reached only 25% business today. People still feel unsafe,” he said, expressing hope that from April, things might start looking better.

The association members approached the government asking for assistance to revive their businesses and are hopeful of positive news to come up soon.
The Tours and Travels Association of Andhra (TTAA) State president K. Vijaya Mohan said that the tourism sector had suffered loss of almost Rs. 2,000 crore by the end of August.

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