Foreign tourists wearing protective masks use their cell phones outside the Lotus Temple, closed for tourists to prevent spread of Covid-19, amid the government imposing restriction on assembly of more than 20 people over the coranavirus threat, on March 20, 2020 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Yawar Nazir/Getty Images)

The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a crippling blow to the Indian travel and tourism industry and the entire value chain linked to the sector is likely to lose around Rs 5 trillion ($65.57 billion), according to a study by industry chamber CII and hospitality consulting firm Hotelivate.

The organised sector alone is likely to lose $25 billion.

The figures are quite alarming and the industry needs immediate measures for survival, according to the CII-Hotelivate report.

“This is the one of the worst crises ever to hit the Indian tourism industry impacting all its geographical segments – inbound, outbound and domestic, almost all tourism verticals – leisure , adventure, heritage, MICE, cruise, corporate and niche segments,” it said.

The shut down and slowdown which was initially expected to affect revenue streams till October, have now indicated otherwise. Trends are currently indicating only 30 per cent of occupancy in hotels till the start of next year, with hotels seeing an 80 per cent to 85 per cent erosion in revenue streams, it said.

“The coronavirus pandemic has given a crippling blow to the Indian travel and tourism industry…The entire value chain linked to Travel & Tourism is likely to lose around (Rs) 5 lakh crore or $65.57 billion, with the organised sector alone likely to lose $25 billion,” it said.

According to the study, occupancy was at its peak in January this year at 80 per cent followed by February at 70 per cent, dipping to 45 per cent in March and then to the lowest at 7 per cent in April.

In May, June, July and August occupancies were at 10 per cent, 12 per cent, 15 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively, it added.

The CII-Hotelivate study projected that in September occupancy will be at 25 per cent, 28 per cent in October, 30 per cent in November and 35 per cent in December.

In a worst case scenario, the estimated loss in hotel for both branded and unbranded segments in 2020 is $19.31 billion (around Rs 1.42 trillion), it added.

On the other hand, the report said the estimated revenue loss of travel agents and tour operators in a worst case scenario is $4.77 billion (about Rs 350.7 billion ).

However, in the best-case scenario, industry revenue will improve by 10-15 per cent, said the report, to which online travel services MakeMyTrip also contributed.