The MD and CEO of Andhra Pradesh tourism, Mr Praveen Kumar, IAS has urged stakeholders of the tourism industry to take cognizance of the new normal and take necessary steps to adapt to it.
Addressing an interactive gathering of members of CII Andhra Pradesh, Mr Praveen stated that the tourism and hospitality industry has been one of the most severely impacted industries in this pandemic.
Travel and tourism contributes in a big way to both the state and national GDP. And it is being estimated that 42-50 million jobs in Indian tourism sector will be impacted.
Citing sluggish demand as the reason for lackluster sales he said that people for obvious reasons are sceptical to travel.
‘Demand still remains low as travelers are being cautious and are not fully willing to venture out as of now’ said Mr Praveen Kumar.
With travel taking a hit, hotels are facing their lowest occupancies ever.
‘Even APTDC hotels are operating at 7-10% capacity. Demand is lackluster’ said the MD and CEO of AP Tourism.
He however urged hotels and other facilities to judiciously follow the SOPs and guidelines issued by the respective government departments and ministries in order to instil confidence in travellers.
‘People will to come to your facility if they have confidence in you keeping them safe’ said Mr Praveen.
“People will to come to your facility if they have confidence in you keeping them safe. This is also the time to strengthen our Domestic tourism.”
— Mr Praveen Kumar, IAS, MD and CEO, AP Tourism
He further stated that this is the time to strengthen domestic tourism as he opined people will travel closer to places they know and are comfortable of.
Talking on the tourists destinations he said that most of them have opened up and all of them are functioning as per the guidelines given by GoI.
Steps AP is taking
Elaborating on the steps that Government of Andhra Pradesh is taking he said that the state government is working on a 3 pronged strategy.
It is to create confidence among travellers and stakeholders, use of technology and to think differently stated Mr Praveen.
The pandemic has also thrown up various opportunities for all us to think about he said. From eco-tourism to heritage tourism and intra state and inter state tourism shall get a fillip.
GoI has already started out with the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ slogan to promote inter and intra state tourism said Mr Praveen.
Speaking on the yet to be released new AP tourism policy he said it will focus on creating infrastructure, bringing in private investments and also in working collaboratively through the PPP mode.