A Systemic Analysis of the Impact of the Pandemic on the Indian Tourism Economy
The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on the tourism industry across the world. Be it aviation or hospitality, transportation, tour operators or eateries, every activity related to tourism was adversely affected by the pandemic in an unprecedented manner. India saw the first severe impact during the first quarter of 2020-21 when the tourism industry was severely affected, in terms of loss in tourism demand due to a significant fall in tourist arrivals. The industry saw gradual signs of recovery post-October 2020, but was hit again by the second wave during April-June 2021 and then the third wave during the period November 2021-January 2022. Given the contribution that tourism makes to the entire economy in terms of income and employment generation, it is important to do a systemic estimation of the losses caused by the pandemic so that resilient policies are put in place to address the challenges at all levels and put the tourism sector back on the path it was traversing before the pandemic. This paper presents the estimates of economic losses resulting from the changes experienced during the most critical period of the pandemic, that is, the first quarter of 2020-21, which witnessed a complete lockdown, and the subsequent two quarters, wherein the sector started showing gradual recovery following various relaxations in economic activities and travel movements. The estimates are based on the methodology which draws from the framework laid out in the Tourism Satellite Account of India, which, in turn, is based on the methodological framework recommended by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.