The US Department of State-Bureau of Consular Affairs has a level 4— highest level of risk rating—for travel to India due to the Covid-19 situation. Industry bodies are of the view that the advisory could make things difficult for India as it kickstarts travel with limited markets.
Industry body Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) said on a scale of 1-4, this is the highest risk rating and the countries reflecting in this category as on August 23 included Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen.
“This is perceptually extremely poor for India. As India has begun the process of opening up its air corridors, such an advisory for India is detrimental to kickstarting business, MICE and leisure travel from the US,” FAITH said.
“Our recovery rate is 75%. Hotels have been allowed to resume operations in cities like Delhi. Fatality rate is low and there is no dearth of hospital beds. We need to convey that we are safer than many countries,” said Subhash Goyal, secretary general at FAITH.
Chander Mansharamani, former vice chairman of India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB), said the move will negatively hit travel for business and professional commitments to India.
"Most European countries follow US travel advisories for their updates. This will have an impact on travel for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions) as India looks at restarting tourism," he added.
Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) said it wants the travel advisory revised as this will have a detrimental effect as India looks at unlocking tourism again. "This is how we are placed right now and bundled with other nations like Syria.
This could be a precursor to what is coming. As far as containment efforts are concerned, we are far better than others,” said Pradeep Shetty, honorary secretary at FHRAI.
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