India is scheduled to finally resume international flights starting on March 27 after a two-year pandemic ban that contributed a devastating impact to the country’s tourism sector. Foreign tourist arrivals last year plummeted to 1.4 million, compared to nearly 11 million in 2019.
Since the pandemic began, the country reported 43 million infections so far, and around 516,000 coronavirus-related deaths. The good news is that India has administered around 1.8 billion vaccine doses and the recovery rate is now at 99 percent.
At a time when tourism businesses in India have just started coming out of the worst business and social scenario in terms of the pandemic, guidance is needed more than ever. “A tourism policy is always good and helps create a statement of intent for the government,” said Ashish Gupta, consulting CEO of the Federation of Associations of Indian Tourism and Hospitality. “And at a time when businesses have been greatly affected by the pandemic, it is even more critical that the policy helps formulate a movement towards ‘what’s next?’”