ATTOI warns that suicides in the tourism sector will rise, if government apathy continues

ATTOI President Vinod CS

The Indian Government and the State Government of Kerala should be held responsible for their criminal negligence towards the struggling travel and tourism sector, tourism body ATTOI has contended, citing instances of employees committing suicide.

While many other countries, both developed and developing, have come forward with plans to support the industry, the Indian government and the state of Kerala have ignored the sector, ATTOI President Vinod CS has said.

Even neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and states such as Himachal Pradesh have given shape to financial packages and benefits for tourism employees, but God’s Own Country hasn’t come to the sector’s aid as yet. On several occasions, the concerns of the industry and employees were presented before various authorities. But no steps have been taken to support the employees.

“The other day, a driver associated with the tourism industry committed suicide. He was under tremendous financial pressure, due to the fall in business during the pandemic. The employees are not getting any mental support from anywhere. No loans are being provided to them. At this rate, the number of suicides will increase,” the ATTOI President said.

“As an organization we would like to register our protest in the strongest possible manner,” he added. The Association of Tourism Trade Organisations India (ATTOI) has traditionally played a key role in raising important issues related to the travel and tourism sector.

Himachal Pradesh has introduced a scheme whereby loans will be provided to tourism operators as working capital for their immediate financial needs. The loan period has been set for four years, including two years of interest subvention and one year of moratorium, at a maximum interest rate of 11% per annum. The scheme will cover all registered tourism units, including the smaller outfits that are not covered under GST.