VISAKHAPATNAM: The travel industry is in shambles today, and travel agents and tour operators, the mainstay of the industry, have become near paupers as many have downed their shutters. They are hoping that the state government comes out with some concession to bail out the sagging sector.
“There are close to 1,000 travel agents in the state who suffered a major revenue loss of Rs 2,000 crore because of Covid-19. By the year-end, we will lose Rs 3,400 crore,” Tours and Travels Association of Andhra (TTAA) president Vijaya Mohan said.
Later, the association organised a protest near the Aircraft Museum in response to similar protests held in major cities of the state on Tuesday. It will take us at least one year to recover from the virus’ impact, he said.
“The coronavirus and its aftermath have crippled the travel industry. The cascading effect has incapacitated the industry and we have never seen a meltdown of this kind,” he said.
The industry is now staring at bankruptcy and mass unemployment and cannot recover without relief package from the government, the association rued.
To promote the state and domestic tourism, the industry has taken up an aggressive marketing promotional plan. The government has been urged to declare travel as an industry and declare 2021 as the ‘Year of the Visit to Andhra Pradesh’. “Also, we have to save ourselves from the threat posed by online travel portals, supported by China, poaching on us. To highlight our plight, we held simultaneous demos at Vizag, Tirupati, Rajahmahendravaram, Vijayawada, and Guntur on Tuesday,” Vijay Mohan said.