The India travel industry continues to be disappointed at the way it is being treated by its own government, even though travel and tourism is one of the largest employers in the services sector.
Several associations have repeatedly regretted that relief and incentives have eluded the travel industry, while sectors like real estate and manufacturing have managed to get a hearing and action from the authorities in charge.
Leaders like Rajeev Kohli of Creative Travel, a major player in India travel, has pointed out that “we have not been able operate our business because of government restrictions.”
“We have been left to ourselves when the industry is facing acute problems and suffering. I am disappointed,” said Kohli, who has also been active in international bodies like the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE).
Creative Travel has made a mark in developing innovative products and exploring new areas while also catering to the luxury segment. However, ironically, such remarks are being made not only by Kohli but by other travel operators as well. This is a time when any number of webinars are being held to face the COVID-19 situation with participation by all stakeholders and senior officials, but still almost nothing is happening on the ground, say the travel and tourism industry leaders and players.
Kohli’s comments come at a time when many trade associations have expressed the fear that tourism is on the verge of virtual collapse in the absence of substantial relief and incentives. Hearing such serious warnings from the well-respected leader of Creative Travel adds much weight to the concerns of many.
Rajeev’s father, Ram Kohli, who founded the family travel agency, was instrumental in setting up the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) which was designed to address the interests of tour operators in the early 1980s.