After going through a turbulent year, the travel and tourism sector in India seems to be bouncing back. According to Pradeep Singh Kharola, India&rsquos Civil Aviation Secretary, domestic air travel in the country has reached 65 percent of what it used to be before the pandemic.
Addressing a webinar titled Aviation and Tourism, The Road Ahead, organised by the Federation of Association of Indian Tourism and Hospitality recently, Kharola said that people are preferring air travel more than ever, and that air travel is being considered as the safest mode to commute.
Kharola further said that the numbers will rise to 80 to 90 percent over the next few months with the lifting of restrictions and the reopening of businesses. He said that it may even reach normalcy if everything goes fine. He added that there was a dire need to reboot the tourism sector on similar lines as the aviation industry.
Speaking about the revival of the tourism industry, Kharola said that people need to be convinced that travelling in these times is safe as heritage monuments and tourist destinations have been reopened after the various phases of the lockdown. He said the country needed a strategy to revive the severely-hit tourism industry.
Kharola also requested the tourism industry to try their best to promote domestic airlines for the revival of the tourism economy in the country. He added that other countries should also consider giving visas to Indian travellers.
According to Kharola, segments like VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) will play a crucial role in the revival of the aviation industry in the months to come. He added that business travel would still take a while to return to normalcy.
Meanwhile, many airlines companies, as well as IATA, are emphasising on lifting border bans and reducing quarantine limits in favour of tests to boost the number of travellers.