Festive season can boost sluggish tourism fortunes: MakeMyTrip

As global tourist destinations open slowly amid the domestic recovery in the gradual unlock phase, things may get better during the upcoming festive season and the tourism sector can return to some normalcy by the end of the year, online travel major MakeMyTrip said on Tuesday.

The Indian tourism industry has been severely hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Vipul Prakash, Chief Operating Officer, MakeMyTrip, the industry is expecting to gain its momentum during the upcoming festive season, IANS says in a report.

“We have seen improvements with the opening of major markets like Europe, Dubai and Maldives, along with others for certain visa holders and we are expecting them to open for everyone soon. Over the end of the year, we are expecting the situation to improve for us,” Prakash told IANS.

In the first five months of this year, international tourist arrivals decreased by more than half and some $320 billion worth of exports from tourism were lost. Overall, some 120 million direct jobs in tourism are at risk, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday.

MakeMyTrip is not expecting things to normalise 100 percent but with more flights and better policies, the tourism industry can be brought back on track, the IANS report says.

“We have sent a full set of suggestions to the government for the revival of the industry and we are expecting them to revert soon,” Prakash said.

The company on Tuesday announced the launch of a dedicated platform called “myPartner” for travel agents to empower and assist them in offering seamless and enhanced travel booking experience to travellers. The myPartner platform will enable them to offer a variety of travel choices, bundled with customisation, personalisation and travel booking convenience for their customers.

“The travel ecosystem demands deeper and wider collaboration among all stakeholders in the value chain in order to make a sustained recovery as the sector has been hit hard by the pandemic,” Prakash said.