India’s domestic flights have now resumed since Monday. So, what’s next? With the travel industry resuming its operations, what lies ahead for the tourism industry in the nation? Will certain areas open to tourists first? India serves as the major outbound tourism market for the world. While, on the other hand, inbound tourism bolsters the national GDP significantly. Hence, it marks urgency, looking forward at the impulses in the industry. Especially the wedding industry finds itself deeply intertwined with the tourism industry owing to the ‘destination weddings’ market of India. Recently the government has offered relief on the validity period of approvals and classifications. Only a few understand its implications. Hence, Wedding Affair has summed up recent tourism updates from across the nation that you must know.
Govt Announced Relief for Hotels, Tour Operators & Travel Agents
On Tuesday, the Modi government announced that it will extend the validity period of approvals and classification of hotels and other accommodation units till June 30. In a major relief to hotel owners, tour operators, travel agents and tourist transporter, hence, this decision comes a welcome respite.
The statement from the ministry stated the following. “Considering the current situation when the hospitality industry is going through a very difficult time in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown that has severely impacted the accommodation sector, it has been decided that validity of approval or certifications of hotels and other accommodation units whose project approvals and classification have expired are deemed to be extended till June 30.”
India Today explained that under the current system, hotels are given a rating. These range from One Star to Three Star, Four and Five Star with or without alcohol, Five Star Deluxe, Heritage (Basic), Heritage (Classic), Heritage (Grand), Legacy Vintage (Basic), Legacy Vintage (Classic), Legacy Vintage (Grand) and Apartment Hotels, Homestays, Guest house etc. The classification is valid for a period of five years. The extension that the ministry granted on Tuesday will apply to all. The relaxations, however, would apply only if previous approval expires during the lockdown period.
Tourism Society seeks Reopening in Karnataka
The Karnataka Tourism Society submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. It demanded opening up hotels, restaurants and some tourism destinations in the state. The Shopping Centre Association of India (SCAI) – Karnataka Chapter also handed a memorandum to CM Yediyurappa on Tuesday. It requested to permit the malls to operate with precautions in place. Hence, Yediyurappa on Tuesday asked a delegation of hoteliers to get ready to reopen hotels and restaurants from June 1. He will consult the centre for approval on this.
Goa itches to Restart Tourism
Livemint had recently reported about Goa’s efforts to restart tourism. Goa government was looking forward to the release of an SOP dealing with protocol related to inbound tourists, by the Union Tourism Ministry. “We are ready to welcome tourists. But if one takes note of the situation in the country, it appears that we will have to wait for some time. We are willing to say welcome to tourists, but they should be willing to come,” CM Pramod Sawant said during the live interaction on Facebook.
Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar has recently told the press that the state will have to re-invent its tourism profile and return to the 1960s. Ajgaonkar also said that wealthy tourists will be given preference over budget and local tourists. The idea behind taking such measures is to bring about the Goa of the 1960s when it was beautiful. In comparison, Goa, as we see today, is more crowded with millions of tourists visiting each year.