The association has called for a relaxation of travel standards and financial assistance for tour operators to remain viable until the travel and tourism industry can be revived.
In the letter, IATO President Rajiv Mehra requested Prime Minister Modi’s assistance in relaxing the 7-day quarantine for fully vaccinated international travelers from non-high-risk countries who have also downloaded a COVID -19 RT-PCR negative. report of the tests carried out within 72 hours before undertaking the trip. The IATO argues that travelers are checked upon arrival at the airport in India, undergo heat screening and if no symptoms are detected, they should be allowed to leave the airport. This will encourage some international travelers to come to India, and tour operators might have such big business right now for their survival.
IATO urges the government to provide financial support to small and medium tour operators to help them weather this crisis.
This can be done on the basis of the turnover recorded by the operator in 2019-20, with 75% of salaries paid in the 2019-20 financial year to be paid as a one-time grant. This one-time grant would not only help end the closure of tour operator offices, but also save thousands of jobs.
All sectors of the hospitality and inbound tourism industry are worst affected, and tour operators and allied sectors in India have collectively lost over Rs 100,000 in revenue. Consequently, thousands of jobs have already been lost. Substantial relief is therefore urgently requested from the government.