There’s no denying the fact that the COVID-19 lockdown has affected each and every industry in some way or the other. However, the kind of effect it has had on the Tourism and Hospitality industry was pretty much unheard of. The cases are rising every day, and though we have a decent success rate of those being treated, India still stands as the fifth-highest country with numbers on the rise. In such a scenario, while the efforts taken by the Central government are much appreciated, the loss faced by certain industries and employees look far from expected.
Here’s how the Hospitality industry in India works- Most Chain of Hotels is self-funded, you hardly get an investor for hotels. Customer goodwill and positive reviews are the major sources of daily operations. Now more often than never, independent seekers buy a property or land, invest in a renovation to convert it into a hotel, and manage to accomplish daily activities with their own staff.
From where we see it, there’s hardly going to be any inbound tourism in the country for another three months at least, which means while the Tourism industry has almost collapsed, Hospitality may partially revive owing to the demand for domestic tourism. Tourism and Hospitality being interdependent on each other. Hoteliers anticipate that the coming time period is going to be really tough for the Hospitality industry with no definite vision of recovery.
As far as foreseeing the impact of lockdown on the Hospitality sector is concerned, even if the domestic industry revives by October 2020, losses close to 25 percent have to be bored by the Operators. Since the traveled insights cannot be gauged yet it will not be easy to predict consumer behavior post the lockdown is over. Apart from health and hygiene, sanitation will be a major concern for those traveling, and until the Hotel takes every traveler into confidence, it is highly unlikely that they would get a good review especially in these times.
As the first phase of Unlock 1.0 activates across the country, hospitality services including hotels and restaurants remain technically prohibited, if not officially, throughout the country. Most surveys conducted by IG food bloggers showed results wherein 90% of people prefer Home deliveries rather than Dining in options as of now. The impetus of Lockdown is going to affect the jobs of all those who are associated with the Hotel and restaurants chains day in and day out, like- Housekeeping, security guards, waiters, and a good percentage of delivery services as well.
In an article published by the Economic Times, NRAI [National Restaurant Association of India) President Anurag Katriar mentioned that considering most big cities are red zones they did not expect the lifting of lockdown to affect them in a good way. However, the hospitality industry employs 7.3 million people. If 30% of them lose jobs it would account for 2 million losing their jobs, and the country cannot afford that. With each passing day, and no respite from the government the ability to reopen restaurants is getting diminished, he added.
With the recovery rate for patients increasing to 52.95% we can only hope that life goes back to normal by the end of this quarter, or else the logjam will result in shutting down of various restaurants and medium-budget hotels.