When we thought that India is gaining upper hand in its fight against Covid-19 at that time the virus is raising its ugly head again in states like Maharashtra, Kerala. This development has resulted in imposing fresh restrictions to contain the spread of new variants of the virus. In Maharashtra, lockdowns were imposed in select areas. Whether it is second wave or not, the damage is done to the tourism industry as people have started cancelling their scheduled visit. Few of my friends and relatives have cancelled their visits to Maharashtra and Goa which were curated carefully over a period. I am sure there are thousands of such examples all over the country. This has inflicted further damage to the sector (domestic), when business had just started gaining momentum.
There was a report which states that the new variant of virus led to a 35 per cent fall in sales in the last few days in Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar, Asia’s largest gold market. The fall in sales is because people are not venturing out. If this is the case for gold, we could imagine the impact on tourism industry. There is already a whisper in the industry-Are we going in 2020 way? Last year, exactly during the same time, the shadow of pandemic was looming large.
Besides Maharashtra and Kerala, new cases have been recorded from Punjab, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh. All these states are significant contributors to domestic tourism. We have to understand that in the current scenario, domestic market is the one and only hope for business. But the rising cases put a big question mark to the sector.
India is 17th among the most affected country by active cases. My intention is not to sound pessimistic, but to caution about possible consequences, if we don’t behave in a responsible way. Our irresponsible behaviour to a large extent is responsible for the current spike. Can we afford another lockdown? Can’t we learn lesson from 2020, which has just gone by? What is wrong in applying our brains so that we can live comfortably in the future?