COVID-19: While the tourism sector is dealing with unprecedented disruptions, the closure of borders and more restrictions will just worsen the blow.
Coronavirus: The novel coronavirus has affected the economies of all the countries and left its impact on all industries, leaving tourism as one of the worst-hit sectors. While most of the countries have already been placed under lockdowns, many others are heading towards similar measures. With the government now taking steps to tackle the virus, the situation seems to have become very serious. While international passenger flights had already been restricted, the stoppage of trains, buses, metros, cabs, domestic flights as well as the lockdown in several states will further impact the tourism sector.
While the sector is dealing with unprecedented disruptions, the closure of borders and more restrictions will just worsen the blow. While the financial impact of the outbreak is cannot be measured quite yet and the losses that would be incurred yet to be estimated, if the situation doesn’t return to normalcy in a short span, the losses in terms of lives and economy all over the world could be humongous.
Shalini Raj, Founder, Journey Weavers, said, “Travel, tourism and adventure sports are the hardest-hit segments in these unpredictable times. This drastic effect was unanticipated and no one in any economy and industry was prepared. It is a kind of slowdown when nothing seems in our control. We are communicating about the best precautionary and hygiene measures to our staff and customers and what they can do to utilise this time in best possible ways. We are hoping for the situation to come back to normalcy soon.”
In times of such uncertainty, the risks of travelling should be known to all and they should also understand that they should only travel in cases of emergency.
What are some safety measures for travelling during COVID-19?
Here are some measures one must undertake while travelling domestically:
- If not travelling via private vehicle, a person should always use disinfecting wipes to clean all the hard and nonporous surfaces thoroughly. A washable or reusable seat cover and a tray table cover should be taken along.
- People must remember to not touch their faces.
- Maintain distance from everyone, especially people showing symptoms of anny illness.
- Always carry a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content to use when there is no access to soap and water.
- While coughing or sneezing, use tissues.
- Remember to wash hands regularly with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds,
What are the alternatives to travelling?
Since travelling during the outbreak is becoming less and less of an option, other alternatives can also be explored:
While travel is not possible, one can make a list of their favourite places and discuss them with the travel agent, via call or email, to figure out the best time to visit. This time can also be used to plan the budget and prepare a thorough layout for the trip.
- Different cuisines and dishes can be explored on the internet and one can try making those dishes that interest them.
- People should also use this opportunity to spend quality with family and create memories.
- This time is also ideal to catch up on all the series and movies in the long list one made.
- Household chores and cleaning of the house are always something that need to be done.
- Coronavirus impact on adventure sports
All major sports tournaments and events have been cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Activities across the country have also been put on hold while the country deals with the pandemic. In instances where such activities are open, which is very unlikely, it is advisable to not go for them. It is important to stay at home and stay safe. This opportunity can be used to explore the different types of adventure sports that are available using the internet so that one can take part in them once the threat of coronavirus goes away.
Niharika Nigam, Director of Business Development at Jumpin Heights, said, “There had been a significant drop in the number of travellers and consequently bookings after Section 144 was imposed in the country. Work from home and self isolation have been heavily promoted by the government as well as the media and it is the need of the hour. In view of the same, we have shut operations as a precautionary measure till March 31 in Rishikesh and Goa. Any bookings that had been made stands cancelled and has been refunded in full. It’s unfortunate as this comes right at the beginning of our otherwise peaking season. However, the health of our crew and jumpers comes first, and we stand in full support of all the precautionary measures being taken. Before breaking off, we had health experts visit our site to learn about the necessary health precautions to be taken. We are extremely grateful to our medical and defence forces that have protected us and we hope the situation gets better soon.”
During this emergency, the citizens have no other responsibility but to stay at home, follow the hygiene protocol and follow the instructions given by the health authorities. By these few simple measures, India can fight off this pandemic.