Updated: June 30, 2021 11:07:13 am
The state tourism department’s survey to measure the impact of the second wave of Covid-19 shows that 79 per cent establishments, such as hotels, restaurants and others, recorded a drop of over 70 per cent in their business in May 2021 in comparison with December 2020. Such businesses also witnessed 50 per cent cancellations in future bookings.
The state’s directorate of tourism conducted a survey to analyse the impact of the second wave on the tourism industry and to understand ways to recover faster after the pandemic. The survey was conducted between April and May by reaching out to stakeholders such as hotels, restaurants, tour operators, travel agents, transport among others. It received around 600 responses with maximum responses from Mumbai and neighbouring districts, Pune and Nashik regions.
According to findings of the survey, out of 79 per cent businesses, 55 per cent witnessed a drop of over 90 per cent in trade while 24 per cent witnessed a drop from 70 to 90 per cent. Over 70 per cent hotels recorded drop in occupancy of over 50 per cent now as compared to the December-January period when it was relatively open after the first lockdown.
The survey further shows that only 15 per cent hotels are fully operational, out of which 11.40 per cent are used for quarantine purposes. Besides, 44 per cent businesses have laid off up to 50 per cent employees, while 42 per cent are planning further salary cuts.
In the survey, stakeholders have also sought relief in taxations and electricity charges, waiver on licence fees, relief in corporation or rural taxes, and 50 per cent return of GST collected in the last three financial years. They have also sought compulsory registration with the state’s tourism department. Dr Dhananjay Sawalkar, director, directorate of tourism, said the state government had accorded the status of industry to the hospitality sector. “So, the fees and charges will be levied as industrial instead of existing commercial charges that are higher. The demand for relief in electricity charges and corporation and rural bodies’ tax have been addressed in it. We have started compulsory registration for hotels and resorts, and will soon start registration for travel agents and others,” said Sawalkar.
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