Allowing foreign tourists for tour companies to continue their Operations: PPP Airports to Govt.

The PPP( Public-private Partnership) travel industry and airport operators have requested the government to provide an allowance for foreign tourists. The Government set the task force with the help of the representatives from airports and airlines and also got some recommendations from the airlines for a tourist visa and created air bubbles with more countries.

The association of private airport operators ( APAO) told the ministry of aviation that 6 metro airports witnessed 16 lakh International passengers in April to September 2020- 7 per cent of the 2.2 crores also saw in the same time last year. While the aviation companies welcome the government’s step in terms of relaxing visa and travel restrictions for tourists from abroad, the tourist visa has not been restored.

The reopening will not only help the aviation sector but can also revive the economy at an accelerated pace benefitting the entire hospitality and tourism ecosystem of hotels, airlines, transportation, tour operators and companies. The aviation companies have kindly requested the tourists to consider the resumption of the tourist visa gradually. The government has slowly opened the doors to let the foreign nationals and giving allowance to tourists is the next step.

The PPP Airport operators have suggested that India provides allowance on issuing tourist visas to countries on a corresponding basis. Many countries along with the USA, UAE ( Dubai and Sharjah), UK, Maldives and Ethiopia have already started welcoming a large number of tourists from India. The APAO members consist of members are the PPP airports at Mumbai, Bengaluru, Cochin, Hyderabad and Mumbai. In the following step, there has been a suggestion form the travel companies to start the issuing of tourist visas to major source markets like the US, Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, Germany and Canada.

For the last few years October – March has been contributing 60 per cent of the arrivals of total foreign tourist arrivals and over 55 per cent of the total earnings in foreign exchange. Hence the Industry will get some benefits through the ease of restrictions, especially at this point. According to the APAO, the support given by the travellers for the companies to helm through this crisis’ period and persist the operations.

Tourism, travel and Hospitality have been badly hit by the pandemic and according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, they estimated that the arrivals of international tourists could drop down by 58- 78% in 2020, that lead to a higher loss of $0.9 -1.2 trillion.

At the arrival, it was stated that the authorities of India have issued some strict regulations on the International charters with the inclusions of Tourist package charter regulations, which is never quite heard in other countries. Governments in many other countries do not intervene in operations of ITP charters, and the approval of such tour operators is what the stakeholder association controls voluntarily, and all the operations follow a code of conduct.

 The Ministry of Tourism, the Govt of India, but not the DGCA approves the Tour operators. The National Civil Aviation policy should be in a manner that the tourist fights in India get encouraged. The ministry of tourism and the Govt of India should be appealed for the guidelines to be issued that would encourage International tourists to come over to India.